Medical Abortion

This is the newly introduced method of terminating a pregnancy. At your first visit in addition to the history and examination, an ultrasound may be performed to confirm you are less than 7 weeks pregnant. The medical abortion is performed using two types of medicines called Mifepristone (RU486) and Misoprostol. Mifepristone detaches the pregnancy from the uterus. When the Misoprostol is given, the uterus contracts and the pregnancy is usually expelled within 6 to 8 hours.

If you would like to undergo a medical abortion and if you are eligible, the Doctor will give you Mifepristone tablets at the first visit. Upon taking mifepristone at the clinic you may begin to bleed. As each woman's body is different, bleeding varies from woman to woman. Some may experience light bleeding much like spotting towards the end of a menstrual period. Others have heavier bleeding like their regular menstrual period, or like a heavy period. Some women do not experience any bleeding until taking the misoprostol.

You will then return to the clinic after 48 hours for the Misoprostol. This will be administered by inserting the tablets in the vagina. Upon inserting the misoprostol tablets into your vagina, cramping, bleeding, and clotting may begin as soon as 20 minutes. Within the next 6 to 8 hours, most women will miscarry. Cramping may come in waves with increasing and decreasing intensity. You can expect bleeding heavier than a menstrual period with clots. During this time, you will pass the pregnancy although you may not see it since it is very small.

A follow-up exam is scheduled for two weeks later to make sure the process is complete. If you have not yet miscarried, we will perform a surgical abortion. A very small percentage (5%) of women do not pass the pregnancy tissue and need a surgical procedure to complete the process. Most of the side effects when using this early abortion option are caused by the second medication, misoprostol. Side-effects may include heavy bleeding, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and heavy cramping. Vaginal bleeding during the induced miscarriage could be extremely heavy. In rare situations it could require a surgical abortion and very rarely, a blood transfusion. If you feel that there are any problems, you can come to the Hospital at any time of the day or night. If pregnancy is continued after taking these medications, there is a risk of fetal deformities.

No confusion, please!

Do not confuse the Abortion Pill with Emergency Contraception Pills. They are completely different medications taken for different purposes. The Abortion Pill causes pregnancy termination and is used after pregnancy is established yet early in the pregnancy (8 weeks since last menstrual period). Emergency Contraception, also known as the "morning after pill" is used to prevent pregnancy after sex when taken within days after unprotected intercourse. Emergency Contraception does not cause abortion and it will not harm an existing pregnancy.

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