What is a Medical Abortion?

What is a Medical Abortion?

There are two main types of abortion, medical and surgical. A medical abortion uses drugs to terminate a pregnancy. You may have heard about medical abortions by other names, such as the abortion pill, RU 486, and chemical or medication abortion.

If you are considering the abortion pill method for your unplanned pregnancy, you should learn about the drugs, side effects, and risks beforehand. Medical abortion has definite restrictions, and we’re glad you’re here learning more about it. 

What Should I Do Before an Abortion?

Before any abortion, medical or surgical, it is best to verify your pregnancy. Did you know it is estimated that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage? Taking time to confirm the pregnancy, before having a procedure that may not be needed, is a wise choice. It could save you time, money, and provide you with an important piece of medical information. Consider verifying your pregnancy first.

Determining if your pregnancy is viable (growing with a detectable heartbeat) requires a positive pregnancy test and an ultrasound. We provide a free, lab-quality pregnancy test at the Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices. We will discuss the results with you and determine if you qualify for a free ultrasound referral. 

Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is the best way to determine if your pregnancy is growing or if you have miscarried. Ultrasound also dates your pregnancy, so you will know how far along you are. The scan also reveals the location of your pregnancy. If the sonographer is unable to locate your pregnancy in your uterus, seeking out medical care would become crucial. If left untreated, this could lead to an emergency condition or situation.

What Drugs Do I Take with a Medical Abortion?

The first drug in the abortion pill method is mifepristone. The FDA closely regulates this drug and recommends its use only through 10 weeks of pregnancy for effectiveness. 

All pregnancies need the hormone progesterone to survive. Mifepristone blocks progesterone from reaching the uterus, which ends the pregnancy. The second drug, misoprostol, causes contractions to expel the pregnancy from the body through the vagina.

What Are The Side Effects?

According to the Mayo Clinic, you may experience any of the following side effects:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Are There Any Risks With the Abortion Pill?

Medical abortion isn’t for everyone. If you are too far along in your pregnancy, have an IUD in place, or have certain medical conditions, medical abortion isn’t an option for you. The Mayo Clinic lists some definite risks you should be aware of:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Am I a Candidate for the Abortion Pill?

It’s vital you talk with your healthcare provider and review your medical history. Medication abortion has not only physical risks but has been shown to have emotional risks as well. Talking with your healthcare provider about your mental health is also essential.

To find out more about medical abortion and begin the process of verifying your pregnancy, schedule a free confidential appointment with us. We hope you will share your particular situation with one of our counselors. We can discuss your options and how Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices can assist you.

Call or text today. We’re here for you.

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