The Abortion Pill

Posted on Nov 30

THE ABORTION PILL
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy you may feel fearful and confused. You may be pressured by others, and it may appear that the easiest and simplest way would be a medical (chemical) abortion, otherwise known as the abortion pill. The following information is to help you understand what the abortion pill is, how it works, and the risks involved.

WHEN A MEDICAL ABORTION CAN BE DONE
• This method is approved by the FDA only up to 70 days (10 weeks) since the first day of your last menstrual period.
• If you do not know when your last menstrual period was an ultrasound will establish how far along you are. If you take the pill after that date you could be at significant risk.
• At 10 weeks the fetus (Latin for young one) is approximately 1-1/2 inches long.
• A medical abortion cannot be done for an ectopic pregnancy.

HOW A MEDICAL ABORTION IS DONE
According to the FDA guidelines, a medical abortion requires two office visits.
• At the first visit you would take a mifepristone pill, which contains a drug that inhibits the supply of progesterone; this cuts off the supply of blood and nutrients to the embryo.
• Two to four days later you will take misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract and expel the embryo. Your doctor may require you to check that all of the embryo parts have been expelled.
• One to two weeks later you will have a second visit with your doctor to confirm that the abortion is complete.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER
• Spotting or bleeding for 9 to 16 days; some women 30 or more days

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
• Headache
• Nausea and vomiting
• Cramping and pain
• Diarrhea

HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT MAKE A MEDICAL ABORTION UNSAFE
You should let your doctor know if you have any of the following health conditions.
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Anemia
• Diabetes

RISKS
• Incomplete abortion requiring surgery
• Infection
• Blood loss requiring transfusion
• Possible rupture of the fallopian tube (with ectopic pregnancy)

WARNING SIGNS
If any of these symptoms occur within the first 24 hours you should contact your doctor right away, as they could indicate a serious, possibly fatal, blood infection.
• Persistent heavy bleeding
• Persistent stomach pain
• Nausea
• Vomiting or diarrhea
• Fever

DANGER OF AN ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
• If the embryo is in the fallopian tube the abortion pill won’t end the pregnancy. Instead, the embryo will continue to grow and could cause the tube to rupture.
• The normal cramping and pain after using the abortion pill are much like the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, masking the danger.
• An ectopic pregnancy is an emergency and you should contact your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.
• An ultrasound can detect an ectopic pregnancy.

Take the time to consider all of your options. Do not be pressured by anyone to do something you don’t want to do. Talk to someone who does not have a financial or personal stake in your decision.

NOTE: If you have taken the mifepristone but not yet the misoprostol and you have changed your mind, it may not be too late. The abortion can be reversed in many cases. Call 877-558-0333