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What is an Abortion Pill?

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 ten weeks after the start of your last menstrual period by an authorized medical provider. This type of abortion includes a three step process:

  • At your first clinic visit, you will be given 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.


  • Within 48 hours, usually at home, you will take a second medicine, Misoprostol, also known by the brand name Cytotec. This causes your uterus to contract and expel the embryo/fetus. The process may take a few hours or as long as a few days.  Mifeprostone and Misoprostol cause bleeding and cramping starting as early as one to four hours after taking the medication.   They may also cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.


  • Approximately one to two weeks later, the doctor should confirm that the abortion is complete through an ultrasound or blood test. 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 several weeks. 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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