Abortion made easy. That’s how the abortion pill is promoted. The idea of a non-surgical procedure is less invasive for sure but a medical abortion isn’t as simple as it sounds. Here’s what you need to know before you decide.
Let’s start by clearing up any confusion about the Morning After Pill and The Abortion Pill.
They are not the same.
It’s important to know that The Morning After Pill or Plan B as it is sometimes called, will not stop a pregnancy that’s already in progress. It’s really just an extra dose of birth control hormones taken as emergency contraception after you’ve had unprotected sex or if your birth control method has failed. The Morning After Pill delays or stops ovulation and stops fertilization before the egg is implanted in the uterus. The Morning After Pill won’t stop a pregnancy that has already started.
What About The Abortion Pill?
Unlike the Morning After Pill, medical abortion or the Abortion Pill is taken after conception up until 10 weeks of pregnancy. It’s really a two-step process that stops a pregnancy from growing and then helps your body to expel the fetal tissue.
Mifepristone is the first medication taken that blocks the hormones necessary for the pregnancy to develop. Nausea and vomiting can occur after you’ve taken the first tablet. Cramping and bleeding usually follow within four hours of taking the first dose.
The second medication, Misoprostol is taken once bleeding and cramping have begun and will help your body to push out the fetus and placenta. There can be heavy bleeding and clots depending on the stage of pregnancy. The closer you are to 10 weeks, the more severe the cramping, bleeding and clotting will occur, as well as the likelihood you will recognize the shape of the embryo as you pass the pregnancy.
Medical abortion usually takes up to 48 hours to complete although each woman is different. It’s not uncommon for women to experience some bleeding up to 3 weeks after a medical abortion. Notify the doctor if heavy, abnormal bleeding occurs, enough to soak two pads within an hour for any length of time or if clots are abnormally large like the size of an apple or an orange.
Medical abortions should be done under the care of your healthcare provider. In rare instances, infections can occur. The first dose should be taken in the presence of a doctor. Women may take the second dose at home and remain in contact with the doctor by phone. A follow-up visit to your doctor is required to determine if the abortion is completed. A small percentage of women may need to have a surgical procedure if all the fetal tissue hasn’t evacuated the uterus within two weeks of the abortion.
How will you know if you are eligible for a medical abortion?
It All Starts With an Ultrasound. Options Can Do One for Free!
If you are considering having a medical abortion you will need an ultrasound before the medication can be prescribed by your doctor or clinician. The reason you need an ultrasound is that the abortion pill is only effective up until 10 weeks of pregnancy. If you are further along, it won’t work. It’s necessary for you to get an exact reading on how many weeks pregnant you are, the size of the fetus and to make sure the pregnancy isn’t ectopic in order to determine if the abortion pill is an appropriate option for you.
Going through with medical abortion is a big decision. Many women are conflicted and want to be sure of their decision before they show up at the abortion clinic or at their doctor’s office to start the process. Abortion at any stage also has emotional and psychological side effects to consider.
If you are seeking clarity, having an ultrasound before you start the abortion process may be just the right step for you. You can find out the gestational age of your pregnancy that will have a huge impact on your decision and you can talk over your concerns with someone who really cares and who won’t judge you. Although you will receive an ultrasound with the abortion provider, the cost of the ultrasound will be calculated into the cost of the abortion. Only a pregnancy support center like Options will give you an ultrasound free of charge before you begin the abortion process.
Don’t wait to schedule your appointment with Options. We can verify your pregnancy on the first visit and schedule you to come back for a free ultrasound so you can make a timely, informed choice. Simply put, we’re the best place around to process your pregnancy decision in the early weeks of your pregnancy.
Options for Women is not an abortion provider or an abortion referral service.