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What is the Abortion Pill?

Posted on March 1, 2022 by Metro Women's Care

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, it’s common to face a variety of emotions: fear, joy, uncertainty, anxiety, and more. Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, you may then research to understand what your different options are. An early procedure is called a medication abortion. This utilizes a two-part drug protocol called "the abortion pill." The abortion pill is not usually prescribed any later than 70 days (10 weeks) gestation.

Even though medication abortions now make up over half of all abortions in the US, they come with a unique set of risks to your physical and emotional health. Take the time to learn more before you pay up to hundreds of dollars for the abortion pill.

How Does The Abortion Pill Work?

Many people confuse the abortion pill with the morning-after pill, which is quite different. The abortion pill is what is used after a pregnancy has been confirmed. (The morning-after pill is typically taken before a pregnancy is suspected).

The first pill is called mifepristone, which is an antiprogestin, meaning it blocks your progesterone levels from increasing and keeps the pregnancy from progressing.

After that (usually within 48 hours), the second pill taken is misoprostol. This second drug forces your uterus to contract so that it will empty your uterus of the pregnancy tissue.

Is It Painful?

Depending on the individual, the level of pain for each pill varies from woman to woman.

After the first pill, mifepristone, it’s not uncommon to have nausea or start bleeding. Again, the level of discomfort will depend on each individual.

The most discomfort is usually reported after the second pill, misoprostol, where common complaints are stomach pain and diarrhea. It’s not abnormal to see large clots of blood as you miscarry a developing fetus.

Additional serious symptoms can be experienced, including the risk of an incomplete abortion and infection, if you are farther along in pregnancy than 10 weeks. To avoid the increased risk of needing emergency care, it’s important to visit a medical provider in-person for care before you take the abortion pill. Take the time to think about how your mental health may also be impacted by experiencing a medication abortion alone at home. The Metro Women's Care team can help you understand your options in a free consultation. Call us at 703-354-7272 to learn more.

What Should I Do Before I Take the Abortion Pill?

It's not enough to rely on common pregnancy symptoms such as a missed period alone to confirm your pregnancy dating. It’s vital to visit a medical provider in-person prior to taking the abortion pill to receive care like an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy.

You’ll want to verify that you are actually pregnant by having an ultrasound to confirm the viability and dating of your pregnancy. We offer this important service at no-cost to you at Metro Women’s Care.

In the same appointment, once you have confirmed your pregnancy, you will then be able to move forward confidently with the best options by consulting with the medical professionals we have on staff.

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