More About Medical Abortion
Some women prefer the use of medicines to terminate a pregnancy because:
Medicines can be used to end an early pregnancy. In many cases, the first day of your last period has to be less than 9 weeks ago. If you are over 9 weeks pregnant, you can have an in-clinic abortion. Some clinics will go beyond 9 weeks for a medicine abortion.
Be very certain that you want to end your pregnancy. It is not safe to stop the medicines once you have started taking them. Doing so creates a very high risk of severe birth defects.
Who Should Not Have a Medical Abortion
You should NOT have a medical abortion if you:
Getting Ready for a Medical Abortion
The health care provider will:
What Happens During a Medical Abortion
You may take the following medicines for the abortion:
You will take “M” in the provider’s office or clinic. This stops the hormone progesterone from working. The lining of the uterus breaks down so the pregnancy cannot continue.
The provider will tell you when and how to take the “M”. It will be about 6 to 72 hours after taking mifepristone. “M” causes the uterus to contract and empty.
After taking the second medicine, you will feel a lot of pain and cramping. You will have heavy bleeding and see blood clots and tissue come out of your vagina. This most often takes 3 to 5 hours. The amount will be more than you have with your period. This means the medicines are working.
You may also have nausea, and you may vomit, have a fever, chills, diarrhoea, and a headache.
You can take pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help with the pain. Do not take aspirin. Expect to have slight bleeding for up to 4 weeks after a medical abortion. You will need to have pads to wear. Plan to take it easy for a few weeks.
You should avoid vaginal intercourse for about a week after a medical abortion. You can get pregnant soon after an abortion, so talk with your health care provider about what birth control to use. Make sure you are using effective contraception before you resume sexual activity. You should get your regular period in about 4 to 8 weeks.
Follow up with Your Health Care Provider
Make a follow-up appointment with your provider. You need to be checked to make sure the abortion was complete and that you are not having any problems. In case it did not work, you will need to have an in-clinic abortion.
Risks to Ending Pregnancy with Medicine
Most women have a medical abortion safely. There are a few risks, but most can be treated easily:
Medical abortions are typically very safe. In most cases, it does not affect your ability to have children unless you have a serious complication.
When to Call the Doctor
Serious problems must be treated right away for your safety. Call your provider if you have:
You should also call your doctor if you have signs of infection: