Reproductive Health - Notes | Class 12 | Part 2: Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)



Intentional or voluntary termination of pregnancy before full term is called MTP or induced abortion.

45 to 50 million MTPs are performed in a year all over the world (i.e. 1/5th of total number of conceived pregnancies).

MTP helps to decrease the population.

Many countries have not legalised MTP due to emotional, ethical, religious and social issues.

Government of India legalised MTP in 1971 with some strict conditions to check illegal female foeticides.

Importance of MTP

  • To avoid unwanted pregnancies due to casual intercourse or failure of the contraceptive used during coitus or rapes.
  • It is essential in cases where continuation of pregnancy could be harmful to the mother or to the foetus or both.
MTPs are safe during the first trimester, (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy). 2nd trimester abortions are very risky.

Problems related with MTP

  • Majority of the MTPs are performed illegally.
  • Misuse of amniocentesis test for foetal sex determination. If the foetus is female, it is followed by MTP. Such practices are dangerous for the young mother and foetus.
Amniocentesis: In this, some amniotic fluid of the foetus is taken to analyse the foetal cells & dissolved substances. It is used to test the presence of genetic disorders, survivability of the foetus etc.

Government of India enacted The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2017 to reduce illegal abortion and consequent maternal mortality and morbidity.

According to this Act, a pregnancy may be terminated within the first 12 weeks on the opinion of a registered medical practitioner. If the pregnancy is between 12 - 24 weeks, two registered medical practitioners must be of the opinion.


Diseases or infections transmitted through sexual intercourse are called Sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs or STIs)/Venereal diseases (VD) or Reproductive tract infections (RTI). 

E.g. Gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydiasis, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis-B & HIV leading to AIDS.

Hepatitis-B & HIV are also transmitted
  • By sharing of injection needles, surgical instruments etc.
  • By transfusion of blood.
  • From infected mother to foetus.
Except hepatitis-B, genital herpes & HIV, other diseases are completely curable if detected early and treated properly.

Early symptoms: Itching, fluid discharge, slight pain, swellings, etc. in the genital region. 

Absence or less significant early symptoms and the social stigma deter the infected persons to consult a doctor. This leads to pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID), infertility, ectopic pregnancies, abortions, still births, cancer of the reproductive tract etc.

All persons are vulnerable to STDs. These are very high among persons in the age group of 15-24 years.

  • Avoid sex with unknown partners/multiple partners.
  • Always use condoms during coitus.
  • In case of doubt, go to a qualified doctor for early detection and get complete treatment.

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