What is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill, also called chemical or medication abortion, is actually a series of two drugs taken to end an early pregnancy.

Mifepristone is the first drug. It is prescribed and taken at the abortion clinic and ends the pregnancy by blocking progesterone, which causes the lining of the uterus to thin.

Misoprostol is the second drug. It is taken hours or days after mifepristone at home. It causes uterine cramping and contractions to expel the fetal tissue.

The abortion pill is only approved by the FDA through the first ten weeks of pregnancy. Taking it too late in pregnancy can lead to other complications.

What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

Like most other medications,the abortion pill comes with risks. Before choosing to take the abortion pill, be aware that serious risks like pelvic inflammatory disease, sepsis, and incomplete abortion are possible.

Keep reading to learn more about the risks of the abortion pill and what you should do before taking it.The following are risks of the abortion pill that you deserve to know about before deciding to end your early pregnancy.

Septic Shock

Septic shock is a medical emergency. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Very high or very low body temperature
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Cool, pale arms and legs
  • Feelings of confusion, restlessness, or fatigue
  • Shaking chills
  • Low blood pressure, especially when standing
  • Inability to urinate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Difficult, rapid breathing with shortness of breath

Incomplete Abortion

Incomplete abortion occurs when not all of the fetal tissue is expelled. This can lead to infection and may require a surgical abortion to complete. If you bleed enough to soak through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours, contact your doctor right away.

Abdominal Pain

If you experience abdominal pain or “feel sick,” including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness – with or without a fever – you should contact your doctor. These can be symptoms of a serious infection or an ectopic pregnancy.


According to the FDA, if you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher that lasts more than 4 hours, you should seek medical care. Fever can be a symptom of an infection or other problem post-abortion.

Before Taking the Abortion Pill

Now you know the risks of taking the abortion pill. You should also schedule an ultrasound to confirm how far along you are (to avoid taking the abortion pill too late in the pregnancy) and to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.

We offer free ultrasounds at Women’s Help Center so you can get the facts before choosing the abortion pill. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.