For many women the idea of a first trimester medical abortion without surgery brings relief. Some women find the ability to have the procedure at home gives them the privacy they desire. There is also the ability to have more control over the timing and setting of events. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? There are some factors to consider, such as, should you stay at home alone during the procedure? Will a medical professional be involved from start to finish? Take a look before you decide.
Let’s look at the facts about Medical Abortion. What is it? What are the methods? What are the risks? …What is a Black Market Abortion? The chart explains the basics, read on for more specifics and cautions.
|WHAT||The Abortion Pill
Mifeprex™, mifepristone or RU-486
Stomach Ulcer Medicine
|WHEN||Up to 10 weeks LMP||Up to 9 weeks LMP||Up to 9 weeks LMP|
|HOW||Day 1: Swallow mifepristone, causing the death of the embryo.Day 2-3: Take Misoprostol, cramping will expel the baby.
Cramping may be severe. Bleeding usually lasts one to two weeks.
Day 7-14: Follow up with provider to make sure procedure is complete.
|Taken by mouth or injection, causing the death of the embryo.3-7 days later, misoprostol inserted vaginally, cramping expels the baby.||Repeated doses inserted vaginally or placed beneath the tongue.Cramping expels the baby.|
|SIDE EFFECTS||Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Severe Cramping, Vomiting, Headaches, Fevers and chills.||Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Severe Cramping, Vomiting, Headaches, Fevers and chills.||Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Severe Cramping, Vomiting, Headaches, Fevers and chills.|
The Abortion Pill – This pill works by blocking the hormone progesterone which is necessary in the early stages of pregnancy. If you block the progesterone, the fetus/embryo cannot live in the uterus causing his or her death. Because of the risk of serious complications, the mifepristone abortion is only available through a restricted program. This program REQUIRES that abortion providers inform patients about the risk of serious events and what to do should complications arise.
- Bleeding – Vaginal bleeding normally lasts for 9-16 days but 1% of women bleed enough to require a D&C to stop bleeding.
- Infection – According to the FDA several U.S. woman who used the abortion pill died to an overwhelming total body infection (sepsis) Physicians are alerted to consider this complication in any woman who feels ill after using Mifeprex.
- Undiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy – The abortion pill will not end an ectopic pregnancy (when the embryo attaches outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube). If this condition is not treated early there could be a risk of the tube bursting, internal hemorrhage, and in some cases, death.
- Failed Abortion – The abortion pill doesn’t always cause an abortion. Failure rate increases with an advancing gestational age. A surgical abortion is usually done to complete a failed medical abortion.
- Risk of Fetal malformations – Research links misoprostol use during the first trimester with certain types of birth defects if the pregnancy continues.
- Lacking information – We are uncertain as to the long term effects of a medical abortion, particularly how women feel about giving themselves an abortion, and seeing the baby parts expelled.
Methotrexate – This drug designed to treat certain types of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, stops cell growth resulting in the embryos death. It is used less frequently than mifepristone, and takes longer to cause abortion. It is given by mouth or by injection, followed by a vaginal misoprostol 3-7 days later. Moth methotrexate and misoprostol are associated with reports of birth defects in pregnancies that continue.
Misoprostol – This drug designed to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers causes the uterus to contract. Given in repeated doses, inserted into the vagina is placed beneath the tongue, cramping occurs that expels the embryo. This has a higher failure rate than the abortion pill. When it fails, surgery is done to complete the procedure. Compared with the abortion pill, misoprostol abortion cause a greater number of women to experience complications like hemorrhage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. There is a risk of birth defects if pregnancy continues.
A Black Market Abortion (buying drugs online, Do-It-Yourself) is never suggested. The abortion pill has safety restrictions on how it is distributed to the public. Some websites, selling the abortion pill, claim to give instructions on how to induce your own abortion. Attempting to follow these instructions can be dangerous for a woman and may or may not end the pregnancy, requiring surgery or may result in birth defects should the pregnancy continue. Drugs purchased online are not subject to the Food and Drug Administration controls or inspections and therefore, there is no way to be certain of what these drugs contain. Don’t bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health.¹
Why get an Ultrasound –Some women may be farther along in their pregnancy than they think, taking the wrong type of medical abortion, resulting in the need for surgical abortion. It’s impossible to know if you have an ectopic pregnancy by taking a pregnancy test. You must have an ultrasound to confirm that you have a viable pregnancy.
At Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic, if you are considering abortion, medical or surgical, we offer a free, no-cost-to-you pregnancy test and ultrasound. We are available to answer all of your questions regarding abortion, adoption and parenting.
No Cost to You Services:
Limited OB Ultrasounds
Pregnancy Decision Consults
Community Resources and Referrals:
Earn While You Learn Classes
Maternity and Baby Clothing and Supplies
Mobile medical clinic to serve you in more locations.
CLICK HERE for more information.
mon – wed: 10am – 4pm
thurs: 11am – 5pm
fri: 9am – 3pm
sat (1st & 3rd): 9am – 12pm
Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic
416 Avenida de la Estrella, San Clemente, CA 92672
¹ Care Net, “What You Should Know About Medical Abortions,” Before You Decide, 2016 Edition 2, pg 16