RU-486: The Abortion Pill
When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, there are many decisions a woman needs to make. If you are considering using the abortion pill, you should know how it works and the potential effects it can have beyond terminating your pregnancy.
With free pregnancy services in the Delaware Valley area, we work hard to be a safe, comfortable place to ask questions and get answers. Keep reading to learn more and find out how we can help you with your pregnancy decision.
Before Taking an Abortion Pill:
- Determine How Far Along You Are: The abortion pill is only effective for pregnancies below a certain age. If you have been pregnant for more than a few weeks, it may be too late for you to take the abortion pill. Ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk by getting a free limited ultrasound first and finding out how old your pregnancy is.
- Make Sure You Don’t Have an Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilized egg does not correctly move into the uterus. This can be a life-threatening condition, and the best way to diagnose it is with an ultrasound.
We offer a free limited OB Ultrasound. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential appointment.
What To Expect
The medication abortion process uses two different medications to end a pregnancy. These medications are mifepristone, sometimes called “mifeprex,” and misoprostol. Two – or perhaps three – visits to your medical provider, and close observation throughout the process, are required. Before taking the abortion pill, you will need to have laboratory tests and a physical exam, including an ultrasound.
It’s also important to note that the abortion pill is not the same thing as the “morning after pill.” The morning after pill can be used only in the days right after intercourse. In contrast, the abortion pill can be used many weeks into an established pregnancy. Morning after pills are generally available at pharmacies and drugstores without a prescription, whereas RU-486 can only be obtained from a doctor’s office.
RU-486 is given in two doses. The first medication, mifepristone, is given at the clinic. It’s possible you will be asked to take an antibiotic at this time as well. The mifepristone ends the pregnancy by blocking the hormone progesterone. Without this hormone, the lining of the uterus breaks down. This in turn causes the pregnancy to end.
The second medication, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours after the first. It brings on uterine contractions which will empty the uterus and expel the pregnancy. Talk with your medical provider about when and where to take this medication, as it will cause cramping and bleeding. During which time, women may see large clots and tissue. The length of time for the cramping and bleeding varies, typically lasting from a few hours to a few days.
Within 1-2 weeks after taking the second medication, you must have a follow up appointment with your medical provider. This is important to make sure that your abortion is complete. If you are still pregnant, you will need to talk with your healthcare provider as you may need another dose of medication or to have an in-clinic surgical abortion to end the pregnancy.
Before you continue with an abortion, it’s in your best interest to have your pregnancy verified & receive an accurate gestational age. With several abortion methods available today, how far along you are will determine what process is used affecting the cost. The only way to know exactly how far along you are is by getting an OB Ultrasound.