Medical abortion is typically done in the first trimester of pregnancy and works to terminate an existing pregnancy through two different drugs. There are major health risks to consider if you are thinking about this option.
We’re here to inform you about the procedure and risks because you deserve to understand the facts before making a pregnancy decision.
Also Called ‘The Abortion Pill’
Medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, is a two-step process using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to terminate an existing pregnancy.
Generally taken with a medical professional, mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to thin and preventing the embryo from staying implanted and growing.
The second drug, taken after mifepristone, is misoprostol, typically taken at home. This drug causes the uterus to contract and release the embryo through the vagina.
The Risks of Medical Abortion
With such a serious medical procedure comes serious physical risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, the potential risks of medical abortion include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
It’s essential to watch for the following signs and symptoms that may require medical attention after a medical abortion:
- 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
Be sure to get a follow-up after this type of abortion procedure. You want to ensure you’re healing well and get clarity on any signs of infection.
Before an Abortion
As medical abortion is only recommended by the FDA for women up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, knowing how far along you are is essential.