What Is a Medical Abortion?

A medical abortion, also referred to as the “abortion pill,” involves taking two powerful drugs that work together to terminate and expel a pregnancy through the vagina.

If you’re considering a medical abortion, it’s critical to learn all you can to protect your health and make an informed decision. 

Read on to learn more about how a medical abortion works and the potential risks. Or, if you’re looking for free pregnancy services or want to talk to someone about your options, contact The Open Door Pregnancy Center today. 

All appointments and resources are free and confidential. 

How Does a Medical Abortion Work?

A medical abortion involves two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone is taken first. It works by blocking progesterone. 

Misoprostol is taken next. It causes your uterus to contract and force your terminated pregnancy through your vagina.

These drugs are taken at home. After taking them, you will experience vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping.

Risks of Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is associated with risks to your physical health. These risks include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

The abortion drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is ten weeks gestation or under. If you attempt to take the drugs and your pregnancy is further along, you’re more likely to experience a risk. 

How Can I Protect My Health?

Certain situations make you ineligible for the abortion drugs. These situations include but aren’t limited to:

  • Your pregnancy is older than ten weeks gestation
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD) currently in place
  • You have a suspected pregnancy outside of the uterus. This is called ectopic pregnancy.
  • You have certain medical conditions. These include bleeding disorders, certain heart or blood vessel diseases, severe liver, kidney, or lung disease, or an uncontrolled seizure disorder.
  • Take a blood thinner or certain steroid medicines
  • Can’t make follow-up visits to your provider or don’t have access to emergency care
  • Have an allergy to the medicine used

In order to protect your health, it’s vital to speak with a healthcare provider about your unique situation. 

It’s also essential to receive an ultrasound. This scan can help you determine the age, location, and viability of your pregnancy—all key details you’ll need to know before an abortion.

You’re Not Alone

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can feel overwhelming, especially as you consider your options. But you’re not alone in this. At The Open Door Pregnancy Center, we’re here for you. 

We offer free pregnancy resources—including ultrasounds—to help give you the information you need to make an informed decision and feel supported. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment. 

The Open Door Pregnancy Center believes you have a right to accurate information from a resource that will not profit from your pregnancy decision. We are an alternative resource that does not perform or refer for abortion. The information on this website is for educational purposes only.

You will never have this day again, so make it count.