A medication abortion is often referred to as the “abortion pill”. In fact, it’s actually 2 pills taken as directed by a trained provider. The first is taken at our clinic. The next one is taken the same day (at the earliest) but no later than 72 hours — at home.
Not everyone is eligible to have a medication abortion. You must be within the first 10 weeks LMP to qualify.
Why do people choose an at home abortion with the abortion pill?
Which kind of abortion you choose depends on what makes you most comfortable. With the abortion pill, many people like the idea that you don’t need to have a procedure in a doctor’s office. You can choose where to have your medication abortion. You could have it at home or in another comfortable place that you choose. You can decide if you want to be alone or with someone during your abortion. Since a medication abortion is similar to a miscarriage, many people feel like it’s more “natural” and less invasive.
There are 3 steps:
- 1st: You will take the first pill, Mifepristone, at Whole Woman’s Health.
- You will probably feel just fine after taking that, but it good to know that some people have some nausea, and a very few will have some bleeding.
- 2nd: You will take 2 more pills, Misoprostol, the same day but no more than 72 hours later at home.
- We will go over this with you before you leave the clinic as these pills are allowed to dissolve in your cheeks or they can be inserted into your vagina.
- 3rd: The abortion will begin in 1 to 4 hours after taking the pills in step 2.
- You will experience bleeding and cramping that can last up to 8 hours or so. It’s a good idea to plan to rest for at least 24 hours.
Is a medication abortion safe?
Medication abortion has been used safely in the U.S. for more than 15 years. Serious complications are really rare, but can happen. These include:
- the abortion pills don’t work and the pregnancy doesn’t end
- some of the pregnancy tissue is left in your uterus
- blood clots in your uterus
- bleeding too much or too long
- allergic reaction to one of the medicines
These problems aren’t common. If they do happen, they’re usually easy to take care of with medication or other treatments.
In extremely rare cases, some complications can be very serious or even life threatening. Call your doctor or clinic right away if you:
- have no bleeding within 24 hours after taking the second medicine (misoprostol)
- have heavy bleeding from your vagina that soaks through more than 2 maxi pads in an hour, for 2 or more hours in a row
- pass large clots (bigger than a lemon) for more than 2 hours
- have belly pain or cramps that don’t get better with pain medication
- have a fever of 100.4℉ or higher more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol
- have weakness, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol
You should start to feel better the day after your abortion. Feeling sick with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain, or a fever for more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol (the second set of pills) can be a sign of infection. Call your doctor or clinic right away if you have any of those symptoms. Serious problems can cause death in the most rare cases, but abortion is typically very safe. In fact, abortion at any gestation is 14 times safer than childbirth.
If you have complications during your medication abortion, you will need to go back to the clinic. In the unlikely event that you are still pregnant, your provider will discuss your options with you. You may need another dose of medication or to have an in-clinic abortion procedure to end the pregnancy.
Like all medications, the abortion pill isn’t right for everyone. If you have certain medical conditions or take certain medications, the abortion pill may not be right for you. Your provider will help you decide if the abortion pill is the right option for you.
Does the abortion pill have long-term side effects?
The abortion pill is safe and effective. It’s a very common way to have an abortion, and millions of people have used it safely.
There are lots of myths about the effects of an abortion. But here are some facts:
- Unless there is a rare serious complication that was left untreated, there is no risk to future pregnancies or overall health.
- Abortions don’t increase a risk of breast cancer.
- Abortions do not affect fertility.
- Having an abortion will not cause problems for future pregnancies like birth defects, miscarriage, infant death, etopic pregnancy, premature birth or low birth weight.
Serious, long-term emotional problems after an abortion are rare. They are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth. If there are issues, they are more likely to happen to people who have to end a pregnancy because of health reasons, or people who have a history of mental health problems.
Our providers can give you accurate information about in-clinic abortion side effects, risks, or any other concerns you might have.
Learn more about how it works and what you can expect:
If you want to know if a medication abortion is right for you or if you want to book an appointmentCall Now