The choices you are forced to make when you realize you have an unexpected pregnancy can be difficult to navigate. Some women choose to terminate their pregnancy with mail-order abortion pills, but this is not generally a safe option. Before choosing mail-order abortion, protect your health by understanding the safety measures that are often overlooked when obtaining these drugs by mail.
While an ultrasound might seem like an unnecessary step if you have chosen abortion, it is a critical step in protecting your health. Ultrasound provides critical details about the pregnancy.
Viability: Does the pregnancy have a heartbeat? Around 20% of pregnancies end in natural miscarriages. Determining if a pregnancy is viable can keep a woman from experiencing an unnecessary procedure, since most miscarriages do not require intervention.
Date: The drugs used in mail-order abortions are only FDA-approved for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. An ultrasound will establish how far along the pregnancy is so a woman and her provider can decide if mail-order abortion is safe.
Location: Some embryos implant outside of the uterus in a condition called ectopic pregnancy. This can be a life-threatening condition, and an immediate diagnosis is needed to protect a woman’s health since the drugs used in a medical abortion do not treat ectopic pregnancies.
An in-person physical examination by a medical professional is recommended before using abortion drugs so a provider can determine if a woman is eligible. In a mail-order abortion, this step is avoided. Examples of situations that cause a woman to be ineligible for these drugs can include:
Are too far along in the pregnancy
Have a pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
Have a blood clotting disorder or significant anemia
Have chronic adrenal failure
Use long-term corticosteroids
Have an intrauterine device (IUD)
Have an allergy to the medications in the abortion pill
Do not have access to emergency care
Can’t return for a follow-up visit
In a pre-abortion assessment, a provider will take a complete medical history to determine if any of these affect a woman’s eligibility for an abortion.
A woman choosing a medical abortion will need to monitor herself for signs and symptoms of complications following a mail-order abortion since a provider will not be monitoring her. Signs and symptoms of complications can include the following:
Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
Severe abdominal or back pain
Fever lasting more than 24 hours
Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
A woman choosing to obtain a mail-order abortion should know ahead of time whom she will contact if she experiences any of these signs or symptoms.
If you are considering a mail-order abortion, contact us to make an appointment with Metro Women’s Care. We offer no-cost ultrasounds to protect your health and can provide you with information regarding your pregnancy outcome options, including abortion.