The abortion pill (also known as mifepristone, misoprostol or RU-486) is an abortion method where certain drugs are used to terminate an early pregnancy. The FDA recommends these medications are used within the first 49 days after a woman’s last menstrual period, but in practice they are given up to 63 days (9 weeks from last period).
Different combinations of medications are used. These drugs cause labor to occur and stop implantation of the embryo. Compared with surgical abortion, medical abortions take longer to complete, require more active patient participation, and are associated with higher reported rates of bleeding and cramping. The embryo will be expelled at home, and a few women will still require surgical evacuation to complete the abortion. This does not require surgery or anesthesia, but does require multiple visits to the doctor.
Risks & Complications
The drugs used will cause bleeding and cramping. According to Planned Parenthood, it’s normal to have some bleeding or spotting for up to four weeks after the abortion.
The drugs may also cause side effects such as:
If a woman is still pregnant after trying a medical abortion, she will have to have a surgical abortion.
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