Any time you take drugs to terminate a pregnancy, you are having a medical or medication abortion. Although it involves taking more than one pill, the abortion pill method is a medical abortion. You take two drugs over a 24 to 48-hour period.

It’s critical to understand the actual method and to find out if you qualify to have a medical abortion. Learn what side effects to expect and the potential risks. Here’s more information.

How Does a Medical Abortion Work?

Usually, a medical abortion uses two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone, the first drug taken, blocks the hormone progesterone. All pregnancies need progesterone to grow normally. 

Misoprostol, the second drug, causes contractions and bleeding to expel the pregnancy from the body through the vagina.

Who Qualifies For a Medical Abortion?

The FDA approves the use of abortion drugs through 10 weeks of pregnancy only (70 days from the first day of your last menstrual period). Other experts recommend not using them after 9 weeks (63 days). 

There are some other limitations to consider, such as having an ectopic pregnancy (which means the pregnancy is growing in the wrong location). 

What Are the Side Effects?

The Mayo Clinic lists the following possible side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills 
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Are There Risks?

Although potential risks do not happen often, knowing what they are is necessary.  The following are possible complications:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the drugs don’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

How Do I Know if I Qualify?

Begin with a free lab-quality pregnancy test at Sumter Pregnancy Center. If your pregnancy test is positive and you meet our eligibility requirements, you may receive a free and confidential limited ultrasound. An ultrasound determines how far along you are in your pregnancy, its location, and if it’s progressing. 

Although we do not perform or refer for abortions at Sumter, we do want you to have the facts about abortion procedures and possible risks. Your health and safety are important to us. Let’s talk specifically about the abortion pill method and determine if you qualify. 
Contact us today. We’re here for you!