Medical Abortion – “Abortion Pill” (RU-486)
A medical abortion is less invasive and allows patients to be in their own home when the abortion occurs.
Up to 11.0 Weeks
We offer medical abortions, commonly known as the abortion pill, for women up to 11 weeks from their last menstrual period (LMP). A medical abortion is a multiple day process and allows a woman to be in her own home when the abortion occurs. The medical abortion consists of two sets of medications, the first, taken in our office and the second, at home.
Mifepristone (Mifeprex, or RU-486) is a medication that blocks the function of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone needed to maintain pregnancy. As a result, it alters the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, causing an early pregnancy to detach from the uterine wall. Because of this, the pregnancy discontinues to grow. Also, the medication helps to soften and dilate the cervix. While you are at the clinic you will take Mifepristone.
Misoprostol is the second medication that you will receive. Misoprostol is very effective at causing the uterus to contract (cramp) and thus expelling the pregnancy like a miscarriage. Misoprostol will be sent home with you, along with instructions to take this medication between 24 to 48 hours after the Mifepristone.
While the medical abortion is 95% effective, there is a 2-5% failure rate. You can read more about the research surrounding these results on medication abortion from the Guttmacher Institute. An in office follow up for in town patients and follow up labs for out of town patients is required in one week. Because the medications used are toxic to the pregnancy, a medical abortion failure will require an aspiration abortion procedure at no extra cost.
What to expect
Cramping and bleeding are an expected part of ending a pregnancy. Usually, these symptoms mean that the treatment is working. But sometimes you can get cramping and bleeding and still be pregnant. This is why you must return to our office in for in town patients, and to a specified lab for out of town patients, in 6-10 days after the initial visit. If you are not already bleeding after taking Mifeprex, you probably will begin to bleed once you take misoprostol. Your bleeding may be similar to, or greater than, a normal heavy period. If you soak through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two hours or if you are concerned about heavy bleeding, contact us.
Your next normal period should begin in 6 to 8 weeks. A pregnancy test may still show a slight positive during this time as the pregnancy hormones leave your body. If you do not have a period within 8 weeks from the procedure date, please call us. It is possible to get pregnant before your first period begins. Therefore, if you want to avoid another pregnancy, you should use the birth control method which has been advised for you by our counselors and/or your physician. Hormonal birth control methods such as pills, the Depo Provera injection, the Nuva Ring, and the Ortho Evra Patch, Nexplanon, Mirena, may change your cycle. If you have questions, please call the office.
- During the abortion process you may eat and drink normally. It is best to avoid strenuous activity, avoid lifting over 10 pounds, and avoid spending a lot of time on your feet. Be guided by how you feel.
- Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to help relieve cramping
- Put NOTHING in the vagina until after the follow-up exam has determined the abortion is completed.
- No vaginal intercourse or tampon use – sanitary pads only.
- Do not douche, go swimming, or take a tub bath- showers are fine.
- You will have an appointment scheduled for your check-up or lab work one week after your abortion.
Be sure to report if:
- Bleeding is excessive (soaking 2 pads over 2 hours).
- Severe abdominal pain is experienced .
- Temperature is ever 100.4 degrees.
- You have any foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
- Persisting fatigue, or extreme malaise.
- Nausea or vomiting are severe .
$ Please call our office for updated pricing information.