What Are Missed Period Pills?
The first sign of pregnancy is often a missed period. For someone who has missed her period, but doesn’t want to know she is pregnant, there is an option now available for her to take some pills that would terminate a potential pregnancy, and start her bleeding. These pills are known as Missed Period Pills, otherwise known as a medication abortion or at-home abortion. These pills are approved by the FDA and are to be taken up to 10 weeks after the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period.
How do I Take Missed Period Pills?
Missed period pills – aka the abortion pill – are a combination of two drugs used one to two days apart. The first medication, blocks the progesterone hormone which is needed for pregnancy to continue. When followed by the second medication, it will end an early pregnancy (70 days or less since the first day of the last menstrual period or 10 wks LMP). The FDA has approved a dosing regimen:
- day one: the first medication is taken by mouth
- 24 to 48 hours after taking the first medication: the 2nd medication is taken buccally (in the cheek pouch)
- Follow up with your provider for an in-office visit to ensure the abortion was completed.
This at-home abortion may sound like a simple and private matter. Some women consider at-home abortions to be a longer process than a traditional surgical abortion and are concerned they may have complications outside of a medical facility or hospital.
Where Can I Get Missed Period Pills?
You can get these pills either through an abortion provider’s clinic or by an online mail source. When you order by mail in most cases, a telehealth appointment is required and the medication for the abortion is sent directly to you without an in-person physical examination. A telehealth professional cannot perform a physical examination via ultrasound and therefore is unable to determine certain factors. A physical examination is important because it dates the pregnancy, rules out ectopic pregnancy, and determines viability (if you are at risk for miscarriage). Beware of any pills that you can buy online without a prescription. You cannot buy missed period pills (abortion pill) over the counter.
Are Missed Period Pills Safe For Me?
If the missed period pills are identical to the abortion pill procedure, according to the FDA¹, some women should not take the first medication if: it has been more than 70 days (10 weeks) since the first day of her last menstrual period, if she has an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside of the uterus), or allergic reaction to the drugs themselves, has bleeding problems, is using a long-term corticosteroid therapy or has an IUD implanted.
Additional associated risks and complications can occur such as:
- sustained fever, severe abdominal pain, prolonged heavy bleeding, or fainting.
- abdominal pain or discomfort, or general malaise (“feeling sick,” including weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, with or without fever)
- Failed abortion, leaves behind body tissue that may result in infection a possible life-threatening infection known as sepsis (severe systemic infection)
- Failed abortion may also require and surgical procedure to continue the abortion process.
- Potential risks may include seeing embryonic parts expelled,
What Else Should I Know Before Taking the Missed Period Pills?
You may want to know if you’re pregnant before taking this medication. At Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic, your health and informed consent are important to us. We want you to know the facts before taking pills which may carry a risk for you. We can provide information on the abortion pill (cost, risks, procedure, and more), a lab-quality pregnancy test, and an ultrasound at no-cost to you. An ultrasound is important before making a decision. The ultrasound confirms three important things:
- An ultrasound will determine if you have a viable pregnancy. This is important since approximately 20% of all pregnancies end in natural miscarriage.
- Know how far along you are. Nearly half of all women are off on the dates of their pregnancy. If you’re further than 10 weeks, you will want to know this.
- An ultrasound also determines whether the pregnancy is in utero (in the uterus) or ectopic (outside the womb), which can be life-threatening.
Whether it’s the abortion pill or in-clinic surgical abortion, you deserve to know the facts and be fully educated. At the Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic, we will take the time to discuss the different abortion procedures and risks so that you can make an informed decision.
You owe it to yourself to make one appointment and be sure. Make an appointment at Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic today.