What is a Medical Abortion?

Also known as a medication abortion, a medical abortion is a regimen of two different drugs that are FDA-approved up to ten weeks (70 days) gestational age. The first drug, mifepristone, ends the pregnancy, while the second, misoprostol, causes uterine contractions that expel the pregnancy from your body.

Like any medical procedure, there’s always potential for physical consequences, so keep reading to learn more about medical abortion, how it may impact your quality of life, and recommended health screenings to take before this procedure.

How Do Medical Abortion Drugs Work?

The purpose of mifepristone is to obstruct the delivery of progesterone to the uterus. By blocking this essential hormone, the pregnancy stops developing and eventually ends.

The second drug, misoprostol, taken 24-48 hours later, induces uterine contractions and bleeding, leading to the expulsion of the pregnancy.

What Are the Physical Consequences?

Typical side effects of medical abortion include cramping and vaginal bleeding. Here are a few risks to be aware of:

  • Incomplete abortion, which requires surgical intervention
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

What Should I Do Before Starting The Abortion Pill?

Scheduling an ultrasound is a prudent step to take before an abortion so you can screen for conditions that an abortion cannot treat.

For instance, if your pregnancy is located outside the uterus, it is life-threatening and needs to be quickly removed. The medical abortion drugs can’t address this type of pregnancy.

Another possibility to consider is the chance of a miscarriage (about one in four early pregnancies end this way). If you’re already miscarrying, taking the abortion drugs isn’t recommended.

An ultrasound will also provide important information about the number of weeks you have been pregnant. This information is crucial in determining your eligibility for a medical abortion procedure.

How Can Crossroads Women’s Center Help Me?

At Crossroads Women’s Center, we offer no-cost pregnancy services and can help you with preventative screenings, including ultrasounds, pregnancy testing, and STD testing.

We do not perform abortions or offer referrals for abortion services, but we can provide you with medically accurate and fact-based information about all of your options.

Our options consultations allow you to openly discuss concerns and process emotions in a safe, supportive environment.

Remember, you’re not alone in this. Contact us today, and we can help you create a confident plan for your future.