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Pregnancy & Herbal Abortion: Week by Week
An excerpt from "Herbal Abortion - The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge" written by Uni M. Tiamat (edited for length. Reprinted with permission.

Pregnancy Week 1: Ovulation and Conception
Week 1 begins with ovulation. The ovum is capable of fertilization during a period of up to 24 hours. After fertilization, the fallopian tube nourishes and protects the growing and dividing group of cells. Meanwhile the corpus luteum forms and begins to produce mainly progesterone. Progesterone causes cells in the uterine lining to divide rapidly to prepare a fertile bed for the embryo, this happens each month whether or not the egg is fertilized. If the egg is fertilized then progesterone production continues, if the egg is not fertilized the corpus luteum dries up stoping progesterone production, and the body prepares for menstruation.

Pregnancy Week 2: Embedding of the Embryo
The rapidly dividing fertilized egg, is floating around the uterus at the beginning of Week 2. The corpus luteum is secreting progesterone, and the endometrial lining becomes rich and nutritive. During the first two to three days of Week 2, the endometrium is prepared, and the fertilized egg implants in the middle or end of week 2.
The cells of the fertilized egg that touch the endometrium, begin to divide rapidly to form a spongy network called chorionic villi. The woman's blood begins to flow freely through this thick spongy layer of cells, nourishing the growing ovum.
The progesterone secreted by the corpus luteum also causes growth of the milk ducts in the breasts. Some women may begin to notice a tingling sensation in their breasts at this time.

Herbal Abortion: Weeks 1 & 2 Implantation Inhibitors and Emmenagogues.
Herbal abortion is easiest and safest to accomplish during the first two weeks. The use of implantation inhibiting herbs like Queen Anne's Lace, Rue/Rutin, Cotton Root Bark, or Vitamin C, block, alter, or interfere in the production of progesterone. Thus preventing implantation and a woman menstruates as usual.
Other emmenagogual herbs are believed to be teratogens, substances that cause the development of abnormal structures in the embryo. Teratogens in the woman's system during the first two weeks of pregnancy usually cause the pregnancy to terminate.
The appearance of the menstrual blood is usually normal to heavy, possibly with more clotting than usual. The very tiny ovum usually passes unnoticed amidst the menstrual blood.

Pregnancy Week 3: "Am I Pregnant?"
Your period is late, and you are wondering if you are pregnant. During the third week, 1/18th of the uterine wall is nourishing the fertilized ovum, which now measures about 1/8inch and is covered with the fine root-like threads of the chorionic villi. The chorionic villi have begun to produce quantities of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Pregnancy tests taken during Week 3 or later detect the presence of the hormone in urine.

Pregnancy Week 4: "I'm pregnant!"
After one week of not getting your period, you may have done a pregnancy test. Which came back positive. Physical signs are becoming evident. You may have morning nausea, your breasts may be feeling tender to the touch, and your vagina and cervix may be turning bluish. The uterus has grown to the size of a plum. The embryo has a 3/16 inch length.

Herbal Abortion: Weeks 3 & 4
Implantation inhibiting (progesterone blocking) herbs like Queen Anne's Lace, Rue/Rutin, or Cotton Root Bark would probably prove successful during Weeks 3 and 4 as well. By using herbs that consistently block progesterone, the uterine lining would become unnourishing. The chorionic villi would separate from the uterine wall causing bleeding like a menstrual period. The os, would dilate due to the body's hormonal system being stimulated. Then, the uterine contents would pass out the body. Women who abort at this time note having basically a normal to heavy period, usually with more clotting and cramping than usual.
Other common abortive herbs, like Blue Cohosh, Pennyroyal, and Tansy stimulate uterine contractions, which help to expel the uterine contents.
The chorionic villi can be seen by catching the menstrual blood with a soft rubber menstrual cup, pouring the blood into a glass of water, observe with a magnifying glass. If the yellowish root-like chorionic villi is present it is a sign that the pregnancy has ended.

Pregnancy Weeks 5 & 6: Making Decisions
During the 5th week some physical signs of pregnancy may subside (like nausea) but other signs may become more noticeable. The embryo's arms and legs begin to form, the fetus grows to a 1/4 inch in length.
During the 6th week, the breasts become noticeably larger, and may feel tighter and tense. The nipples may become more prominent. The chorionic villi in the endometrium continue to proliferate and begin to form the placenta. Facial features form and the heart becomes established and begins to beat.

Pregnancy Weeks 7 & 8: Marked Fetal and Placental Development
During the 7th week, the established placenta begins to produce its own estrogen and progesterone. The corpus luteum's hormone production slows down. The chorionic villi outside the placenta degenerate and the sac membrane becomes smooth. The head of the embryo grows significantly due to the beginning of intense brain development.
By the end of the eighth week, the placenta has grown to cover 1/3 of the uterine wall. The embryo is now 1 inch in length and begins to take on a human appearance. The hands and feet are recognizable. Respiratory activity is evident, and weak fetal movements begins. The sac progresses in size to about the size of a small chicken egg.

Herbal Abortion: Weeks 5-8
The effort required to be successful at an herbal abortion increases as the pregnancy becomes more and more established. The chances of having negative side effects to the herbs increases as the dosage and length of time involved in treatment increases. Use caution. Strongly consider a clinical abortion.

["I" refers to Uni Tiamat, the author of this information] In my first herbal abortion, I was in the sixth week when I started taking herbs, and I was successful after one and a half weeks of constant medicating (day and night). When the abortion was well under way, I stopped taking any herbal medications, figuring that my body, stimulated to produce natural hormones would take care of the rest. I passed a purplish iridescent sac about the size of a grape the second day of bleeding and a placenta the size of a quarter a few hours later. Cramping was definitely more intense than a normal period, was associated with passing large clots and the sac and placenta. I began bleeding during week 7, the week I would have menstruated if I had not gotten pregnant. Although aborting at this time period was unplanned, the body's memory of past menses rhythms probably helped.
Progesterone blockers may be useful to stimulate the placenta to detach after Week 5, but because the ovum has already implanted and the placenta has begin to embed, the addition of strong uterine contracting emmenagogues like Blue Cohosh, Pennyroyal, or Cotton Root Bark would probably be beneficial.
Most abortions and miscarriages before Week 8 are complete, meaning all of the uterine contents are expelled and the uterus clamps down to complete the abortion. The bleeding subsides after the small placenta is passed, and over the next few weeks the signs of pregnancy disappear. I do not advise attempting and herbal abortion past the 6th week, because it can take a couple weeks to be successful. After Week 8, the chances of having an incomplete abortion increase.

Pregnancy Weeks 9 to 12: Placenta forms a compact network of connective tissue.
Over weeks 9 and 10, the placenta and chorionic villi begin to change, forming a compact network of connective tissue by the end of week 12. By week 11, the placenta is completely formed and fetal circulation is complete; the fetus has a 6.1cm length. By the 12th week, the fetus grows to 10 cm long (4 inches), fingers and toes can be seen, nails form. Fetal sex may be determined after the 12th week. The pregnant woman may notice less pressure on the bladder. Nipples darken, and fluid colostrum may be expressed. During weeks 9-12, the placenta continues to get progressively larger and is firmly embedded.
I do not advise attempting an herbal abortion past the sixth week of pregnancy, because herbal medications may not be successful for at least a week or two, and the majority of women who have incomplete abortions do so after the eighth week. The main cause of incomplete abortion is the firm attachment of the placenta. In an incomplete abortion, the thin umbilical cord breaks and the fetus and the enclosing sac are expelled, but the placenta remains adhered to the uterine wall. When this happens, bleeding continues, sometimes dangerously profuse; the os remains dilated, and the uterus cannot clamp down to stop the bleeding. Incomplete abortion can be an emergency situation, because the woman can hemorrhage and loose a lot of blood very quickly. In pregnancies that have progressed past the sixth week, strongly consider getting a clinical abortion. Seek the advice of knowledgeable herbalists and doctors educated in women's herbal health.

    To obtain a copy of "Herbal Abortion" By Uni Tiamat contact:
      Sage-Femme!
      3457 N. University, Suite 120
      Peoria, IL 61604-1322

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