A medical abortion (also known as the abortion pill) is a procedure where women terminate their pregnancies using two prescription drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol.

Cornerstone Women’s Resource Centers is committed to providing accurate information and early pregnancy services so you can make an informed choice for your health and future. 

Read on for more information about a medical abortion.

How Does a Medical Abortion Work?

A medical abortion is a two-drug process that happens over the course of a few days. The drugs mifepristone and misoprostol are typically taken hours or days apart.

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for a pregnancy to continue. As a result, the uterine lining begins to thin, and the embryo or fetus can no longer stay attached or grow. This will end the pregnancy.

The second drug, misoprostol, will trigger the uterus to contract, causing abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding to expel the pregnancy and related tissue. 

What Are the Side Effects and Risks?

The guaranteed side effects of the abortion pill regimen include vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping because that is how the drugs work.

However, it’s possible to also experience fever, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and headache.

The risks of a medical abortion include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed up by a surgical procedure
  • Ongoing pregnancy if the drugs do not work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Other Facts to Know to Protect Your Health

There are other safety factors to consider before moving forward with a medical abortion.

One fact is that the abortion pill is not for every woman. Certain conditions, such as having an allergy to the drugs, certain health conditions like ectopic pregnancy, or an IUD currently in place, could rule out medical abortion as a safe option.

Also, the FDA only approves the use of medical abortion through the first ten weeks (70 days) of pregnancy. After this timeframe, surgical abortion might be considered safer.

Get More Information with an Ultrasound

An ultrasound will confirm your pregnancy is located within the uterus (not ectopic) and whether or not it’s progressing or you have miscarried. It can also measure your pregnancy’s gestational age to determine your available options.

If you are pregnant and considering your options, an ultrasound is your first step to protect your health and ensure you do not need any medical intervention, such as treatment for an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Cornerstone Women’s Resource Centers is here to help. Schedule a no-cost appointment today to verify your pregnancy with a test followed by an ultrasound. This scan will provide critical health details to ensure you make an empowered choice.