A medical (or medication) abortion is an alternative to surgical abortion. It is non-invasive. It uses a combination of two drugs (“pills”) to induce an abortion.
(1) Mifepristone – given by a healthcare provider in his/her office. It blocks the progesterone in a woman, which will cause the uterine lining to thin and the fetus to detach from the uterus. (2) Misoprostol – taken at home 24-48 hours later. It causes the uterus to contract, bleed, and expel the fetus.
Typical side-effects after taking both drugs:
- Bleeding and cramping – starting 1-4 hours after taking second pill.
- Heavy bleeding and clots for several hours (a good supply of pads will be needed).
- Low fever and chills for about a day after taking second pill.
- Tiredness, nausea, and dizziness.
- Light vaginal bleeding may occur for several weeks after abortion.
- Emotions may vary more than normal.
Prior to a medical abortion, a physical exam and health history evaluation by a healthcare provider is required*. This usually includes:
- Physical exam.
- Confirmation of pregnancy.
- Ultrasound to view fetus in uterus, determine length of pregnancy, and rule out ectopic pregnancy.
- Blood and urine tests.
- Explanation of procedure, risks, and side-effects.
- Scheduling post-procedure follow-up for 2-3 weeks. This is an important appointment to keep and to let the healthcare provider know how your recovery was.
*Some states have already or may in the future relax/eliminate some of these requirements.
For questions and more information contact Pregnancy Health Center (Camdenton MO).