What Is a Medical Abortion?

What Is a Medical Abortion?

A medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, uses drugs to end a pregnancy, evacuating any fetal tissue in the womb. It has been FDA approved for use up to 10 weeks (70 days) gestational age.

Read this article to learn more about the medical abortion process, how to protect your health before taking an abortion pill, and any risks or side effects you should be aware of.

How Does It Work? 

A medical abortion consists of two different medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first drug, mifepristone, is a hormone blocker that deprives the pregnancy of progesterone, a hormone needed for fetal growth and development. 

Once the pregnancy ends with mifepristone, the second medication, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later, usually at home without medical supervision. This drug induces uterine cramping to expel the fetus from your womb.

What Should I Do Before Taking the Abortion Pill?

It’s important to verify the condition of the pregnancy before taking any medications, chemicals, or drugs. 

Our center offers no-cost pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, so contact us to schedule your appointment.

What are the Potential Abortion Pill Side Effects?

If any of these symptoms last longer than 24 hours after the completion of the procedure, you should seek immediate medical attention. Mayo Clinic lists the following side effects of medical abortion:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

In addition to side effects, the abortion pill also has risks. 

Mayo Clinic lists the following possible risks of the abortion pill:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

According to a study conducted on almost 5,000 induced abortions, 10.2% of the participants who underwent a medical abortion went on experience an incomplete abortion, which required a second procedure.

Although rare, there is the possibility of septic shock that can occur with an abortion. Even with today’s advanced abortion methods, it’s important to be informed of any possible risks such a procedure can pose to your health.

Next Steps

We offer no-cost pregnancy services at our clinic, whether it is through pregnancy testing, an ultrasound, or options consultation where we can further educate you on the dangers of a medical abortion. Our center is a peaceful, pressure-free environment where you can process your options and ask questions about the pregnancy process. 

We are here to provide evidence-based education to help you make the best decision. Contact us today!