This policy document looks to clarify the stand on giving a prescription for Medical Termination of Pregnancy(MTP)/abortion on Practo teleconsultations.
As a user of the Practo app who is looking for advice or a prescription for MTP, we understand your need to terminate your pregnancy. It is a difficult decision to be made as a mother. The doctor will explain the process relating to termination in detail for your safety.
The pregnancy mostly occurs in the uterus, but, in a few cases, it may happen in the uterine tubes or outside the uterus. There are different methods for termination of pregnancy which varies depending on the location of the pregnancy and the number of weeks of pregnancy. This needs to be determined before proceeding. The wrong choice/method may be dangerous.
For your safety, it is important that an ultrasound scan is done to find out the location of the pregnancy and the weeks of pregnancy. You can request the doctor for a prescription for an early pregnancy scan.
If your pregnancy is inside the uterus and less than 8 weeks, medicines may be prescribed. But, these medicines can only be prescribed under the supervision of a doctor because complications such as excessive or prolonged bleeding, pain may be life-threatening.
If your pregnancy is more than 8 weeks but less than 20 weeks, you may require D&C (daycare surgical procedure done under anaesthesia) to terminate the pregnancy.
If your pregnancy is outside the uterus ( for eg: the uterine tubes) then it becomes an ectopic pregnancy and an immediate physical consultation with a gynaecologist would be required for further management.
Post 2 weeks of the medical termination, a repeat scan will be performed to rule out any retained products of conception and if any present then a D & C to be done to remove the products of conception.
Thus, under no circumstances would our doctors be able to prescribe a medicine for MTP online, as the ‘Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971’ (Act 34 of 1971) has some restrictions. We encourage you to read more about this in detail at https://tcw.nic.in/Acts/MTP-Act-1971.pdf.
To summarize, the Act requires MTP to be performed in a hospital established/maintained by the government or a place approved by the government. As you know, online consultation is not a physical establishment or hospital and as an online platform, it has limitations to evaluate your pregnancy for your safety. Also, online consultations are not approved by law to perform or prescribe pills for MTP. Any violation of the said Act is a punishable offence as per the law.
MTP is a procedure with a possibility of severe complications including death when performed improperly or without the supervision of a registered and trained doctor. These restrictions for MTP are put in place by law for the safety of those wanting to undergo the procedure.
Keeping the safety of our users and their well-being in mind, we recommend you to visit a registered and trained obstetrician of your choice along with your most recent urine/blood pregnancy test report and ultrasound report for further evaluation.
You can also read more about this procedure here: https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/all-you-need-to-know-about-safe-abortion-services-in-india-42648/post