What Do You Know About The Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill method is a medical (or medication) abortion because it uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medical abortion only through 70 days (10 weeks) of gestation (70 days or less from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period).

How Does The Abortion Pill Work?

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone. Every pregnancy requires progesterone to continue, so without it, the pregnancy can no longer survive.

The second drug, misoprostol, causes the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy.

A final follow-up visit with the abortion provider is recommended to ensure the procedure was successful. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are potential side effects, risks, and restrictions of the abortion pill.

Side Effects

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Potential Risks

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

Who Should Not Use The Abortion Pill Method

  • You are too far along in your pregnancy.
  • You have an intrauterine device (IUD) currently in place.
  • There is a suspected pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic).
  • If you have certain medical conditions. These include bleeding disorders; particular heart or blood vessel diseases; severe liver, kidney, or lung disease; or an uncontrolled seizure disorder.
  • You take a blood thinner or certain steroid medicines.
  • You can’t make follow-up visits to your provider or don’t have access to emergency care.
  • You are allergic to the medicine used.

What Is Plan B?

Plan B One-Step (also known as “the morning-after pill”) and ella® are considered emergency contraception. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, these medications delay ovulation or block the sperm from joining with an egg.

Research has also suggested Plan B prevents a fertilized egg from implanting – which some may consider a very early abortion.

Never use Plan B as regular birth control because it is not as effective as other birth control methods. Emergency contraception does not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and you should review the side effects and potential risks beforehand.

What Is Plan C?

Your Plan A in preventing pregnancy should be abstinence or regular birth control. Plan C is also known as a “self-managed” abortion. It uses the abortion pill method without medical oversight.

To learn more about abortion methods, side effects, and potential risks, contact our team at Queen City Pregnancy Resource Center. You deserve the facts first.