The abortion pill is advertised as a safe and effective way to end an unplanned pregnancy.  So how does it work?  Are there any special considerations a woman should be aware of before using it?  Is the abortion pill the right choice for me?

What is the Abortion pill?

The “abortion pill” or RU486 is a combination of two different medications taken over a few days to cause an abortion.

1. Mifeprex (mifepristone) is taken on the first day usually at the clinic.  This medication blocks your body from using an important pregnancy hormone called progesterone.  Progesterone works in pregnancy by maintaining the lining of the uterus needed for the tiny embryo to burrow into and obtain nutrients from your body.  Without progesterone, the lining of the uterus dies and sloughs off, killing the embryo implanted in it.

2. Misoprostol is taken 24 o 48 hours after the Mifeprex.  This medication causes contractions of the uterus to help expel the lining/pregnancy.  Most women will experience heavy cramping and bleeding.  Sometimes the cramping is very painful and a woman may need to take over-the-counter or prescription pain medication.

Special considerations:

* It is important to have an ultrasound to determine how far along you are before taking RU486 because a woman can only take RU486 up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

* Another reason to have an ultrasound is to be sure you have something called a viable pregnancy (a baby is in the uterus with a heartbeat). Occasionally the baby implants in the wrong place…somewhere other than the uterus such as the fallopian tube or ovary. This is called an ectopic pregnancy. Having an abortion when you have an ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening.

* Sometimes the medical abortion does not cause a complete abortion (especially if you are further along). If your abortion is not complete, you will need to go in for a surgical procedure to complete the abortion.

*There can be complications from a medical abortion such as heavy bleeding and/or infection.  Contact your doctor right away if you develop:

– a fever of 100.4 or higher that lasts more than 4 hours

-severe abdominal/pelvic pain

– heavy bleeding (soaking through two thick full-size pads per hour for two hours in a row.)

-feeling sick with weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea more than 24 hours after taking the misoprostol.

-If you can’t reach your doctor and go to an emergency room, be sure to let them know right away that you have taken the pills for a medical abortion so they will know how best to help.

*We recommend having a friend with you to provide comfort and support during the abortion which can last a few days. Don’t expect to go right back to work the next day.

Is the abortion pill the right choice for me?

One final consideration for you as a woman making an informed decision about medical abortion is the development of the tiny embryo within your body.  Is it just a clump of cells or is there more going on?  What does it look like? Do your research and understand the choice you are making. You must know for yourself how you feel and resolve any emotional/moral conflicts you have regarding ending a human life because you are the one who will need to go on each day and be ok with the choice you make. The heart starts beating during the 5th week of pregnancy.  By 8 weeks arms and legs can be seen and all the organs are beginning to function.  By 10 weeks, fingernails are forming and baby is moving, kicking those little limbs.

If you have any doubts or concerns about having a medical abortion, call True Care at 215-9684 to schedule an appointment.  We can provide a free, confidential pregnancy test and a confirmation ultrasound to determine how far along you are and if you have a viable pregnancy.  Our professional, compassionate advocates can talk with you about options and help you weigh the pros and cons of parenting, adoption, and abortion.

True Care offers compassionate, professional services without judgement – information and education you may not get elsewhere. You deserve to know all information on all options