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What Is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill, also called chemical or medication abortion, is a regimen of two different drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. The abortion pill is currently FDA-approved for use up to 10 weeks gestational age (70 days).

This article describes how the abortion pill works, identifies its potential risks and side effects, and lists steps before seeking any abortion procedure.

How Does it Work?

The two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, each have a particular purpose.

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone to end the pregnancy. Without the supply of progesterone, the uterus cannot support the pregnancy.

Misoprostol, the second drug, induces uterine contractions to expel the fetal and pregnancy tissue from the woman’s body.

What are the Potential Abortion Pill Side Effects?

As with any drug or prescription, the abortion pill has side effects you should be aware of before taking the medication. Mayo Clinic lists the following side effects of medical abortion:

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

If any of these side effects last longer than 24 hours after the completion of your abortion, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What are the Abortion Pill Risks?

In addition to side effects, the abortion pill also has potential risks. Mayo Clinic lists the following possible risks of the abortion pill:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Additionally, the FDA warns against “abdominal pain” or “feeling sick” following your medical abortion. “If you have abdominal pain or discomfort or are ‘feeling sick,’ including weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, with or without fever, more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol, you should contact your healthcare provider without delay. These symptoms may be a sign of a serious infection or another problem (including an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the womb).”

Next Steps

At Hope First Center, we offer no-cost ultrasounds, which provide crucial information about your pregnancy

Ultrasounds are helpful so you know how far along you are and alert you to any possible health complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. Both of these conditions would require medical attention other than an elective abortion.

We provide a safe, confidential space for you to ask questions, learn about your options and local resources, and feel equipped to make the best decision for you.

We are here to help you navigate your pregnancy journey. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. You are not alone!

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