Take a pill and your pregnancy worries are gone. That sounds so easy! However, an abortion, any type of abortion, is a serious medical decision. Although “abortion pill” is the popular name given to this procedure by an abortion clinic, it is not one pill, and it is not as easy as they would like you to believe. Anytime your body goes through a major change with medicine or surgery, there are serious side effects. Here is what to expect if you choose the abortion pill method.
The Abortion Pill Procedure
There are two types of abortion, chemical and surgical. The abortion pill method is known as a chemical or medical abortion. Sometimes it is called RU-486. You are only eligible for this procedure if you are less than ten weeks into your pregnancy. After nine or ten weeks, you will need to have a surgical abortion.
The abortion pill is a two-step process that begins with a clinic visit. Only a licensed doctor is legally allowed to distribute the medication. Before the abortionist can begin the procedure, you have to have an ultrasound. The ultrasound determines how far along you are in your pregnancy, and if your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy means a heartbeat is detected and the fetus is growing.
The Drugs You Take for a Chemical Abortion
Once you have had an ultrasound and determined your pregnancy is less than ten weeks along, you can begin the abortion pill procedure. To begin, you take the first pill, Mifepristone (Mifeprex®). This drug blocks the production of the hormone progesterone which is commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” Progesterone helps the fertilized egg implant on the wall of your uterus. Mifepristone causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the fetus from staying implanted.
You are given the second drug, Misoprostol, to take at home. This drug can be taken within hours or even days after the Mifepristone. Misoprostol causes your body to cramp to expel the fetus.
Risks and Side Effects of the Abortion Pill
It is vital to be under a doctor’s supervision when considering any abortion. Ask beforehand what the abortion doctor’s qualifications are and if they can help you in case of complications. Make sure they know your health history too.
The Mayo Clinic lists these as potential risks of the abortion pill method:
- Abdominal cramping as you pass the fetus.
- Heavy bleeding with blood clots also occurs due to passing the fetus.
- A fever, which could indicate a pelvic infection, should be checked by a medical professional.
- Occasionally, your medical abortion is incomplete, and you will have to return to finish the procedure.
Other Side Effects
An abortion has emotional as well as physical side effects. Often, women describe feelings of guilt, shame, and sadness after an abortion. Some women become very depressed and begin to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. In some cases, post-abortion feelings can last a lifetime, so counseling is extremely important to work through your emotions.
Where to Begin
At the Pregnancy Care Center of Petoskey, we can help you understand the abortion pill procedure or other abortion methods fully. In addition, we can confirm your pregnancy with confidential, no-cost pregnancy testing. If you receive a positive result, we can also perform a no-cost ultrasound to tell you how far along your pregnancy is.
We truly care about you. Schedule your appointment today. Together, we will sit down and discuss your life situation and all your options for your unplanned pregnancy. You do not have to do this alone.