A medical abortion, also commonly referred to as the “abortion pill,” is a combination of two drugs that work together to end a pregnancy and force it from the uterus. 

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering medical abortion, it’s essential to understand the physical and mental health risks involved so that you can make an informed decision. 

Read on to learn more about medical abortion. Looking to speak with someone in person about abortion and your other pregnancy options? Contact Women’s Care Center for a complimentary options education appointment.

How Does Medical Abortion Work?

Medical abortion is the process of taking two different drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end and expel a pregnancy from your body.

During pregnancy, your body amps up the production of the hormone progesterone. This hormone causes your period to stop and thickens the lining of the uterus. This nourishes and sustains the pregnancy. When you take mifepristone, it blocks progesterone. This causes the pregnancy to be starved of nutrients and terminated.

Misoprostol is the second pill in the series, and it causes your uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy through the vagina.

What Could Happen After Medical Abortion?

After taking these drugs, certain side effects can occur. You may feel:

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

Risks are less common, but they are also more severe. These include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which could lead to infection if not treated
  • Continued pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Next Steps

If you’re considering medical abortion, your health is the number one priority. The only way to ensure your safety is to get an ultrasound. This harmless scan can reveal the age of your pregnancy—which is essential, since medical abortion is only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks. Ultrasound can also determine if you’re having an ectopic pregnancy, which is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment—not a medical abortion.

You’re Not Alone

An unplanned pregnancy can make you feel isolated, scared, and alone. We understand what you’re going through, and you’re not alone. We’re here for you with complimentary pregnancy resources that can help you feel empowered to make a confident decision about how to move forward. Contact us today to speak to one of our caring team members.