A medical abortion, also known as medication abortion or the abortion pill, is a non-surgical method to terminate a pregnancy in its early stages. It uses two medications to cause a miscarriage and evacuate the fetus from the uterus. This type of abortion happens within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
What Medications are prescribed for a medical abortion?
1. Mifepristone (RU-486): You’ll take this medication orally at a healthcare provider’s office. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for continuing the pregnancy. Without progesterone, the uterine lining begins to break down, nutrients to the fetus stop, and the fetus detaches from the uterine wall.
2. Misoprostol: In contrast, you’ll take this medication at home, usually within 24 to 48 hours after taking mifepristone. Misoprostol softens the cervix and causes the uterus to contract, leading to the expulsion of the embryo or fetus.
Will I need a follow up?
A follow-up appointment with a healthcare provider happens a week or two after taking the medications to make sure the abortion is complete.
is a medical abortion the same as a surgical abortion?
Medical abortion is different from the surgical abortion procedures. Surgical abortions involve procedures such as aspiration or dilation and curettage (D&C). Medical abortions happen at home without medical supervision, whereas surgical abortions happen in a medical office under medical supervision.
Also, it’s very important to have access to emergency medical care in case any thing goes wrong during or after a medical abortion.
important things to consider…
The decision to have a medical abortion should happen only after talking to a healthcare provider. The provider gives you accurate information, guidance, and support throughout the process. Your medical provider asks you about medical conditions you might have that can the effectiveness of the pill. They also make sure medicines you take won’t cause an interaction. To read what Mayo Clinic lists about drug interactions and conditions that you need to be aware of before a medical abortion, click HERE.
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