What is the Abortion Pill?

Woman contemplating taking the abortion pill

The abortion pill is a medication that can often be misunderstood. Whether you are curious about the abortion pill or you are determined to take it, we want you to understand all of the facts about this abortion method. 

People often think that when they take the abortion pill their pregnancy will be terminated almost immediately. However, the abortion pill is significantly more complex than you may realize. 

The abortion pill is actually comprised of two pills, taken separately, with risks associated with each drug. We strongly encourage you to understand these risks before taking the abortion pill.

The Procedure of the Abortion Pill

There are only two variations of abortion: medication (the abortion pill) and surgical. Medication abortion is sometimes also referred to as a chemical abortion, due to the procedure’s emphasis on chemically modifying the lining of the uterus. 

Only those who are within the first ten weeks of their pregnancy are eligible for a medication abortion. If the pregnancy is past ten weeks, a surgical abortion is required for pregnancy termination.

Prior to engaging in an abortion procedure, you need to have an ultrasound. The ultrasound determines how far along you are in your pregnancy, and if your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy indicates a heartbeat is detected and the fetus is growing inside the uterus. The ultrasound helps you stay safe as you navigate through your decision-making process.

The Drugs Involved with a Medication Abortion

Once your pregnancy is confirmed to be within ten weeks through an ultrasound exam, the medication abortion is an option for you. The medication abortion procedure begins with the first drug, mifepristone (Mifeprex®). This drug hinders the womb’s ability  to absorb progesterone, which is commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” Progesterone helps the fertilized egg implant on the wall of your uterus. Mifepristone causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the fetus from staying implanted.

After the mifepristone drug is taken and runs its course, Misoprostol is prescribed to complete the medication abortion. The second drug is taken hours or even days after Mifepristone. Misoprostol causes your uterus to contract to expel the fetus.

Risks Associated with the Abortion Pill

Because abortion is a serious medical procedure, it is imperative to be under a doctor’s supervision during the procedure. It is always wise to ask about some of the potential side effects. Make sure the doctor knows your health history, too.

Below are a few of the risks associated with abortion, provided by Mayo Clinic 

  • severe abdominal cramping 
  • blood clots or heavy bleeding during the passing of the fetus
  • fever, sometimes indicating a pelvic infection
  • incomplete abortion, requiring a follow-up surgical procedure

To ensure your own safety, immediately seek medical attention if you experience a rapid heart rate, shaking chills, or strenuous breathing. 

A large percentage of women have reported struggling with mental health issues in relation to their abortion decision. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression prior to your abortion procedure, it is highly recommended that you share your feelings with a trusted loved one, and consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

Where to Begin

Our team exists to help people who think they may be pregnant. At BsideU for Life, we can help you understand the abortion pill procedure or other abortion methods fully. In addition, we can confirm your pregnancy with confidential, no-cost pregnancy testing. If you test positive, we can also perform a no-cost ultrasound to tell you how far along your pregnancy is, as well as determine the location of the fetus.

Schedule your appointment today. We would love to partner with you during this time that is often marked by emotion and confusion. You do not have to do this alone.