Like every medical procedure, the abortion pill carries risks that should be considered when choosing an outcome for your pregnancy. Before taking the abortion pill, you should receive a physical exam to give your provider the information they need to maintain your safety.
What Is the Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill, also known as a medical abortion is the process of taking two drugs to terminate a viable pregnancy. The first drug mifepristone blocks the progesterone the body makes. Since the pregnancy needs progesterone to survive, this ends the pregnancy. Anywhere between a few hours to 2 days later, the second drug, misoprostol is taken. It causes the uterus to begin contracting (squeezing) and the pregnancy is forced out of the body through the vagina.
What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?
All medications have side effects, these are common responses the body might have to the drug. The expected side effects of the abortion pill can include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
In addition to the side effects, the abortion pill has the following risks:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
When to Seek Medical Attention
Because women experience a medical abortion at home, it is important that they are aware of the signs and symptoms of severe complications from a medical abortion, so they can reach out to medical providers before their situation becomes life-threatening. Immediate medical attention should be sought if the woman notices any of the following symptoms:
- Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
- Severe abdominal or back pain
- Fever lasting more than 24 hours
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
If you are exploring your options related to pregnancy, we can give you the information you need to understand all your options. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential appointment.