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). This does not require surgery or anesthesia, but does require multiple visits to the doctor. Drugs to induce abortion are either taken orally or inserted into the vagina.
Different combinations of medications are used. These drugs cause labor to occur and stop implantation of the embryo. The medications used for a medical abortion will cause bleeding that is significantly heavier than a period, and there may be severe cramping. Compared with surgical abortion, medical abortions take longer to complete, as it may take several days or weeks for the abortion to be complete. It also requires more active patient participation, and are associated with higher reported rates of bleeding and cramping. The embryo will be expelled at home.
You will need to see your doctor within two weeks to ensure the abortion is complete. If you are still pregnant after attempting a medical abortion (the abortion pill), you may require another dose of medication, or you may need a surgical evacuation to complete the abortion.
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 you have questions about the abortion pill procedure, schedule an appointment with us to speak with a nurse. She can answer your questions, as well as confirm that you have a viable pregnancy, which is information you need to know before making any decision about abortion.
Our appointments are confidential. Every year we help hundreds of women facing unplanned pregnancies, and understand the importance of privacy.