Medical (non-surgical) abortion, commonly known as Abortion Pill using Mifeprex and Cytotec is available if you are 70 days (10 weeks) or less from your last menstrual period.
Mifeprex (Mifepristone) is a drug which blocks the action of progesterone, a hormone needed to continue the pregnancy by keeping it attached to the wall of the uterus.
Mifeprex has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for early abortion and has been used by millions of women in Asia and Europe (it has been referred to as “RU486” or the “Abortion Pill” in the media).
Cytotec (Misoprostol) is a drug used in the United States to prevent irritation or ulcers in the stomachs of people using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. When the FDA approved Mifeprex, it was approved for use in combination with Cytotec. When used together, Mifeprex and Cytotec are over 95% effective in causing an abortion in early pregnancy.
On day one of the Medical Abortion process, you will take one Mifeprex pill orally in our office. Mifeprex will cause the pregnancy to release from the uterus.
Within 6 – 48 hours after taking the Mifeprex pill, you will insert four Cytotec tablets vaginally. Cytotec will cause heavy cramping and bleeding, similar to a heavy period or a miscarriage, and you will pass the pregnancy at home.
Although the abortion is usually complete within four to ten hours, the process may range from several hours to several days. You will be required to return to the clinic approximately 4 – 14 days after the first visit for a follow up ultrasound to confirm that the process is complete.
Considerations, Side Effects, and Risks of the Abortion Pill
If you are considering medical abortion, our counselors will make sure you are a candidate.
- be 70 days (10 weeks) or less from the last normal menstrual period
- be available to return to the clinic two to three times
- live within a 30 minute drive of an emergency care facility and have reliable transportation
- have access to a telephone or cell phone
- consent to a surgical abortion if the medical abortion fails (exposure to Mifeprex causes a risk of birth defects)
Medical abortion is not an option for women who have chronic adrenal gland failure; inflammatory bowel disease; an inherited porphyria disorder; a bleeding disorder; a known allergy or intolerance to Mifepristone (Mifeprex), Misoprostol (Cytotec) or any prostaglandin medication; an intrauterine device (I.U.D.) in place, or a known or suspected ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
Women considering Medical abortion must not be currently taking corticosteroids or blood thinning medication.
There have been no reports of significant side effects or long-term risks with Medical abortions. Minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headaches, and chills have been reported.
Approximately 2% of patients will have an incomplete abortion or continuing pregnancy and will require a surgical procedure to complete the abortion. Other risks include the possibility of allergic reaction to the medication and bleeding or infection of varying degree.
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