What is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill goes by many different names. Medical abortion, chemical abortion, and RU-486 are all names for the same thing: a pregnancy termination utilizing medication instead of surgery.

If you’re considering taking the abortion pill, here are a few things you need to know so you can fully understand this option.

What Exactly is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is actually a series of pills that utilizes two drugs to end a pregnancy. It is available for women who are in the first 10-11 weeks of pregnancy. Taking the abortion pill after 10-11 weeks could result in an incomplete abortion, potentially requiring surgical intervention.

The first drug, mifepristone, is prescribed and taken orally at the abortion clinic. It typically ends the pregnancy by blocking progesterone from your womb. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken between 24-48 hours later at home. This drug causes cramping, bleeding, and contractions as your body expels the pregnancy tissue.

Occasionally the abortion pill termination will not be successful and a woman will need a follow up surgical procedure to ensure that the termination is complete.

What Should I Do Before Taking the Abortion Pill?

It is important to have an ultrasound to find out if a pregnancy is developing before taking the abortion pill. According to Mayo Clinic, up to 20 percent of all pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, which is the natural loss of a pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn’t developing as expected, so the pregnancy will naturally end. 

Women’s Help Center offers ultrasounds at no  charge so you can learn how far along you are, if your pregnancy is developing, and where your pregnancy is located. Women with an ectopic pregnancy (located outside the uterus) should not take the abortion pill. Early detection of an ectopic pregnancy is vital for your health and wellbeing. 

This will give you the information you need to determine your eligibility for the abortion pill and also alert you to any potential health risks.

Schedule an appointment with us today for a free ultrasound so you can make a fully-informed decision as you weigh your pregnancy options. Call or text us at 904-885-8864, or request an appointment through this website (pregnancyjacksonville.com)

What are the Potential Abortion Pill Side Effects?

As with any drug or prescription, the abortion pill has side effects you should be aware of prior to taking the medication. 

Mayo Clinic lists the following side effects of medical abortion:

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

If any of these side effects last longer than 24 hours after the completion of your abortion, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What are the Abortion Pill Risks?

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

Additionally, the FDA warns against “abdominal pain” or “feeling sick” following your medical abortion. “If you have abdominal pain or discomfort, or you are “feeling sick,” including weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, with or without fever, more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol, you should contact your healthcare provider without delay. These symptoms may be a sign of a serious infection or another problem (including an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the womb).”

Call or text us at 904-885-8864, or request an appointment through this website (pregnancyjacksonville.com)