What is a medical abortion?

If you’re unexpectedly pregnant, you may be looking at all of your options. One of those choices early in a pregnancy is a medical abortion. Despite using two drugs, this method is also known as the “abortion pill.”

Medical Abortion

A medical abortion is a procedure that uses two drugs to end a pregnancy. First, mifepristone is taken to block the hormone progesterone. About 24-48 hours later, misoprostol is used to trigger contractions and expel the embryo or fetus and pregnancy tissue through the vagina.

Medical abortion is FDA-approved through the first 10 weeks of gestation (the length of time you’ve been pregnant.)

What Are the Side Effects?

The most common side effects you would experience during a medical abortion are abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. These side effects start after taking misoprostol. Additional side effects may include:

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

You’ll have to watch out for signs that indicate a complication, such as:

  • Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

What Are The Risks?

Medical abortion, like any other medical procedure, is a serious choice that comes with certain risks. Those include:

  • Incomplete abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Because of the risks and side effects, you’ll want to ensure good follow-up care is scheduled after the procedure.

Safeguard Your Health

We’ve only gone through some of the common side effects and risks associated with medical abortion. There’s more to know before you consider this procedure, including if you are eligible in the first place for the abortion pill. 

You can protect your health by talking with us at Hope House Women’s Clinic. 

We can offer you free pregnancy testing to confirm your pregnancy, and if you qualify with a positive result, an ultrasound to give you key details about what you’ll need to know.

All appointments are free and confidential. Contact us today to get started.