What is a medical abortion?

A medical abortion, also referred to as the “abortion pill,” is the process of taking two different drugs to end a pregnancy and force it out of the uterus. 

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, knowing all you can about this option is essential to make a confident decision about how to move forward. 

Read on to learn more about how a medical abortion works, the potential risks involved, and what to do next. 

Or, if you want to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options, contact Assure Women’s Center today to schedule a free, confidential appointment. 

How Does Medical Abortion Work?

Medical abortion involves taking two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol

Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a vital pregnancy hormone needed to sustain a pregnancy. Without this hormone, a pregnancy will be starved of nutrients and end. 

Misoprostol causes your uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy through the vagina.

What Are the Side Effects and Risks of Medical Abortion?

After taking these drugs, you may feel the following side effects:

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

Although risks are less common, they can be 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 a medical abortion, getting an ultrasound is an important next step to protect your health. 

An ultrasound can reveal the key information you need to stay safe. This information includes: 

  • Age of pregnancy. This is important, considering medical abortion is only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks old.
  • Location of your pregnancy. This can rule out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, which is when it grows outside the uterus.
  • Viability of your pregnancy. This can show whether your pregnancy is progressing; up to 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and you could have miscarried without obvious symptoms.

You’re Not Alone

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone. We’re here for you. Contact Assure Women’s Center today for a free, confidential appointment. We offer free, limited ultrasounds and other pregnancy resources to help you make an informed decision.


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