What is an Abortion Pill?

July 13, 2017

There is no doubt that a positive pregnancy test is a life-changing moment in a woman’s life. When that moment is unplanned it can lead to a lot of confusion and fear.

Take a deep breath — you have time to figure out what to do next.  The best decisions are made when we respond and not react.  Be sure to gather truthful information on the choices before you.


We often get asked about the “Abortion Pill”.

First, before making any medical decision, it’s important to know your options and understand the risks, so that you can base your decision on accurate information.

The abortion pill is used to cause what is termed “a medical abortion” and is different from the “Morning After Pill”. A medical abortion may be prescribed before nine weeks (63 days from the start of one’s last menstrual period) by an authorized medical provider. This type of abortion includes a three step process:

  • At the first doctor visit, you will take 3 mifepristone pills, also known by the brand name Mifeprex. It is also referred to as RU-486. These pills contain a drug that cuts off the supply of blood and nutrients to the developing embryo.


  • Two days later you will return to the doctor to take misoprostol, also known as Cytotec. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends you take the two tablets by mouth; however many abortion providers administer it as a vaginal suppository (tablets placed in the vagina). This causes your uterus to contract and expel the embryo. The process may take a few hours or as long as a few days. Mifepristone and misoprostol cause bleeding and cramping.   They may also cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. The side effects of these medications can be similar to the symptoms of other early pregnancy complications such as   ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.


  • On the third doctor visit, two weeks later, the doctor should confirm that the abortion is complete. However, 1 to 4 percent of women still need a surgical abortion to terminate the pregnancy, resulting in a fourth and perhaps fifth visit.

You should expect to have vaginal bleeding or spotting for an average of 9 to 16 days. Up to 8 percent of all women may experience some bleeding for 30 days or more.


Who Should Not Have A Medical Abortion?

You should not get a medical abortion if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, bleeding problem, anemia, uncontrolled diabetes, pregnancy outside the uterus ( i.e. ectopic pregnancy), or an IUD in place.  


Side Effects
The FDA reports that the abortion pill can have serious side effects and complications such as hemorrhage (heavy bleeding) and serious infections.

Take time to consider all of your options. Prestonwood Pregnancy Center offers individual guidance and accurate information about all pregnancy options including abortion procedures and risks.


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