Abortion Pill (Medical Abortion) up to 10 weeks
Commonly called ‘the abortion pill’, medical abortion is a non-invasive procedure for termination of a pregnancy. We routinely provide medical abortions (Abortion Pill) to 10 weeks of pregnancy.
What to Expect with the Abortion Pill (Non-Surgical Abortion)
In the Office
At your procedure visit, a technician will perform a transvaginal ultrasound. You will discuss your decision and options with a counselor and talk more about the medications, side effects, and risks outlined in the Medication Guide.
A nurse or assistant will take your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature) and you will meet with a physician. The physician will ask you about your decision and answer any questions you may have. The physician will then give you one Mifeprex™ tablet (200 mg mifepristone) that you will take orally. If your blood type is Rh negative, a nurse will administer an injection of Rhogam [PDF] in the recovery room. The physician will dispense a packet containing 800 mcg of misoprostol to take home.
The misoprostol should be taken 24-48 hours after swallowing the Mifeprex™ tablet at AWC. Thirty minutes before you plan to take the misoprostol tablets, take 800mg of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc.). All four pills should be left in the mouth for approximately 30 minutes to dissolve. Anything left in the mouth after 30 minutes should be swallowed. Contractions and bleeding should begin between 20 minutes and 4 hours after taking misoprostol.
Bleeding & Cramping
Most people can expect very heavy bleeding with this method and it is normal to pass some large clots. Bleeding may continue off and on for several days or weeks and can range from a light flow or spotting to heavier, like a period. However, if you do not begin bleeding within 24 hours or you are soaking through 2 or more pads per hour for 2 hours in a row, please call AWC immediately. Cramping is normal with this type of abortion and may be much worse than a period.
Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Weakness, and a Fever
Sometimes these symptoms can be a side effect of the Mifeprex™ and misoprostol tablets. Call our office immediately if, more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol, you experience symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea and weakness with or without abdominal pain, or with or without fever.
A temperature of 101° F or higher can be normal after taking Misoprostol. Your temperature should return to normal about one hour after the bleeding starts. Drink lots of fluids. If your fever does not return to normal in three hours call the clinic. If you get a fever above 100.4° F after day 4, please call our office immediately.
Approximately 7-10 days after your first visit you will return to AWC for a repeat vaginal ultrasound. Approximately 1% of people using the abortion pill method will not end their pregnancies and 2-3% will have remaining pregnancy tissue in the uterus at the time of the follow-up appointment. If the abortion is complete, you will discuss birth control options and future care. If you are still pregnant, you will most likely need surgery to complete the abortion.
After Your Medical Abortion
Post-abortion bleeding and cramping varies from person to person. You may bleed for two days to 4 weeks or have no bleeding at all. For many people, the bleeding stops and starts sporadically. There may be spotting until your next period. You may also find that you are passing large blood clots and have mild to moderate or even heavy cramping. All of this can be normal.
See our Abortion After-Care Instructions [PDF] for more details.
To estimate the length of your pregnancy, enter the first day of your last period and then press 'calculate'.