Abortion Pill Information
Do you have questions about the abortion pill? We’ve compiled reliable, medically accurate information on the abortion pill to help you decide whether the abortion pill is the right choice for you. If you have questions about anything, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can also make an appointment with our trained staff so you can talk through your options in a safe, private environment.
Abortion Pill Basics
The “Abortion Pill” is actually a series of pills. Typically, the first set of pills (mifepristone) is taken at a doctor’s office. This first drug blocks the progesterone needed to sustain life, causing the death of the fetus. The second set (misoprostol) is taken at home 24 hours later. It works by inducing labor, which expels the pregnancy. This can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple weeks.
Note: Other names for the abortion pill are “medical abortion” and “chemical abortion” so if you hear these terms, they are also referring to this process.
Safety & Side Effects
Although the abortion pill is marketed as a safe option, there are some considerations you should be aware of. First, the abortion pill is one of only 74 drugs dangerous enough that the FDA required a special protocol to monitor the patient for complications. Although some of these protections have been recently removed, it does not change the fact that the abortion pill is serious. A lot of women choose the abortion pill because they think it will be more natural and less invasive than surgical abortion. However, studies show the rate of complications for chemical abortions is four times higher than that of surgical abortions. 1 in 12 women bleed for more than 30 days. 1 in 100 women need to be hospitalized.
Cramping and bleeding can be expected. For some, this feels like a heavy period. For others, it can be much more severe. Other side effects include:
For some women, abortion can cause long term issues. These can include:
- Sexual Dysfunction
If you have had a previous abortion and are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact us. We can help.
The information here is provided not to scare you, but to help you know exactly what to expect. No matter what, this is your choice. In order to help you make the most confident, informed choice possible, we are here to answer any questions you have. Contact us or make an appointment for more information. We are here to help.
Even if you have decided to go forward with the abortion pill process, there are still several steps you should take beforehand.
Schedule an Ultrasound
This is the single most important thing you can do to help protect your safety. An early ultrasound looks for three things.
- An ultrasound makes sure your pregnancy is located in the uterus. If it is not, the abortion pill will not work, and an extra-uterine (outside the uterus) pregnancy can pose serious risks if undiscovered.
- It checks the viability of a pregnancy. A non-viable pregnancy will end naturally, and taking the abortion pill would be an unnecessary medical procedure and expense.
- The ultrasound checks for the gestational age, or how far along you are in pregnancy. Dating a pregnancy by the last period is not as accurate as an ultrasound, which can determine whether you qualify for the abortion pill.
The Front Royal Pregnancy Center provides free ultrasounds. We make sure to answer all questions about your exam and provide a copy of the doctor’s report so you can make the decision that is right for you. Make an appointment today. If you have questions about what your appointment will be like, do not hesitate to contact us. You can also read more here about a typical appointment experience at the FRPC.
Check My Clinic
Double check the ratings and reviews for the clinic you choose. You can also visit checkmyclinic.org to view an interactive map that provides inspection reports for area abortion clinics. Make sure the place you choose is up to date and up to code.
One of the most frequently asked questions about the abortion pill is, “Will I be able to protect my privacy?” The answer is: not necessarily. Although the online abortion pill industry profits from the belief that women can take these pills privately, it just isn’t true. You’ll need an exam before and afterwards, and the risk for complications is high. In addition, you’ll never know when your body will respond to the second set of pills, meaning you could be at home, at school, or at work when the contractions begin. Finally, even if abortion pills could provide secrecy and privacy, it’s never in a woman’s best interests to face an unexpected pregnancy alone. Some level of support is necessary for mental and physical health, no matter what decision a woman makes. We are here to support you no matter what. You can make an appointment to talk things over beforehand, and are always welcome back to talk about your experience or to ask questions.
Abortion Pill / Missed Period Pill / Morning After Pill - What's the Difference?
“Missed Period Pills” – mifepristone and misoprostol
(Also Known as the Abortion Pill, Chemical Abortion, or Medical Abortion)
The “missed period pill” is actually just the abortion pill, but with another name. It sounds appealing to take a medication to get your period started, but the abortion pill works in a different way. It ends a pregnancy by blocking your body’s progesterone and by inducing labor. So while it can look and seem like your period, it is actually an entirely different process, and can be much more intense.
Because taking an abortion pill is a serious decision to make, be sure to check out all your options to ensure it is the right path for you. And although the pill is sometimes marketed as a “missed period pill,” it should never be taken without confirmation of pregnancy because of its risks. This includes a pregnancy test and an ultrasound so you can have all the medical information you need to make a decision. This info includes the location, viability, and gestational age of the pregnancy.
The Morning After Pill – levonorgestrel
(Also Known as Plan B, Ella, or Emergency Contraception)
The morning after pill is designed to be taken shorty after having intercourse. The pill works by preventing or delaying ovulation to decrease the chances you become pregnant. It can also prevent the implantation of an already conceived pregnancy.
This medication should not be taken if you are already far along enough in your cycle to miss your period. In fact, this medication is often the cause of a late period. So if your period is late and you know you’ve taken this medication, your period may just be delayed.
This medication is also not recommended for routine use.
Side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, menstrual changes, dizziness, breast, tenderness, and vomiting.
Abortion Pill by Mail
Ordering abortion pills by mail has become a popular concept. We have a lot of women asking what the difference is between ordering online and having the pills dispensed by a doctor. Here’s the scoop:
- Mail-order abortion pills have almost no oversight. This means that you can’t be certain that the pills you have are the correct dosage for you, that they aren’t expired, or that they come from a reputable source.
- You’ll need to make an appointment with your healthcare provider anyway. Rh blood testing is recommended before an abortion. A woman who is Rh negative will need medication shortly after an abortion to prevent serious problems with future pregnancies. Another appointment is needed 7 – 14 days after an abortion. They’ll check for tissue remaining in the uterus, an unrecognized ectopic pregnancy, or other complications.
- If you have serious symptoms, get care. Many companies will encourage you to lie to emergency personnel if you experience complications. If you do experience side effects, seek emergency help immediately, and be sure to tell them what medications you took so they can help you.
If you have more questions about the process, costs, or other elements of obtaining an abortion, feel free to contact us. We can help you find what route is best for you.