Abortion Pill (Medication Abortion Near Arlington, VA)
Medication abortion is often referred to as the “abortion pill”. It’s 2 sets of pills taken as directed by a trained provider. The first pill is mifepristone and stops the pregnancy from growing. The next set of pills, misoprostol, are taken the same day (at the earliest) but no later than 72 hours.
Not everyone is eligible for the abortion pill. You must be within the first 11 weeks since your last menstrual period (LMP) to qualify. Please call Whole Woman’s Health clinic near Arlington, Virginia to learn more information regarding your eligibility.
Information About the Abortion Pill
Since it was first approved by the FDA in 2000, medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, has changed in the practice of abortion care. It is extremely safe and effective for pregnancies less than 12 weeks. In 2016, the FDA confirmed that medication abortion’s “efficacy and safety have become well-established by both research and experience, and serious complications have proven to be extremely rare.” In a 2015 guideline, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified three individual components of self-managing a medication abortion during the first trimester: self-assessing eligibility; managing the mifepristone and misoprostol medication without direct supervision of a health care provider; and self-assessing completeness of the abortion process using pregnancy tests and checklists.
The FDA-approved regimen for medication abortion consists of two medications: mifepristone, which works by blocking progesterone, a hormone needed for a pregnancy to continue; and misoprostol, taken 24-48 hours later, which induces contractions and ends the pregnancy. A person’s ability to self-administer mifepristone and misoprostol after receiving instructions from a provider is well established, and there is evidence that it is safe and effective for someone to do so without the direct supervision of a provider.
The effective rate of medical abortion is over 95%. In cases where the recommended dosage does not end the pregnancy, additional medication or aspiration (suction) abortion care may be required to complete the abortion. Expected side effects are typically minor and similar to the symptoms of a miscarriage: bleeding, uterine cramping, and pain.
Misoprostol-only Abortion near Arlington, VA
Some providers in the U.S. near Arlington, Virginia, and many internationally, use a misoprostol-only protocol to complete an abortion. Many people self-managing their own abortion care also follow these protocols. While not approved by the FDA, this regimen is common and is also effective. You can find more information on misoprostol-only protocols from the WHO at www.who.int/health-topics/abortion.
What Are The Possible Risks Of Taking The Abortion Pill?
Medication abortion has been used safely in the U.S. for more than 20 years. Serious complications are very rare but can happen. Keep in mind that abortion at any gestation by any method is safer than giving birth.
Complications can include:
- the abortion pills don’t work and the pregnancy doesn’t end
- some of the pregnancy tissue is left 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 are usually easily controlled by taking medication or other treatments. In extremely rare cases, some complications can be very serious or even life-threatening. Call our team near Arlington, VA 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 next day after your pregnancy passes. 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. If you have any of those symptoms, please call Whole Woman’s Health near Arlington, Virginia. Serious problems can cause death in the rarest cases, but abortion is typically very safe. In fact, abortion is 14 times safer than childbirth.
If you have complications during your medication abortion, you will need to return to our clinic near Arlington, VA. 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 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. Our providers serving Arlington, Virginia 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 do not increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Abortions don’t affect fertility.
- Having an abortion won’t cause issue for future pregnancies like birth defects, miscarriage, infant death, ectopic pregnancy, premature birth, or low birth weight.
Serious, long-term emotional problems after an abortion are extremely rare. Mental health challenges post-abortion happen more often for people who may already struggle with mental health issues or for people who terminate a wanted pregnancy. Our providers can give you accurate information about in-clinic abortion side effects, risks, or any other concerns you might have. If you want to know if the abortion pill is right for you, please do not hesitate to call our clinic near Arlington, VA.