A medical abortion, also known as the “abortion pill,” combines two powerful drugs that work together to terminate a pregnancy and then force it from the uterus through the vagina.

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering a medical abortion, knowing all you can about how it works and how to protect your health is essential. Read on to learn more. Or, if you want to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options, contact Vie Medical to be connected to one of our caring team members.

How Does a Medical Abortion Work?

The medical abortion drugs are taken at home, without the oversight of a physician. 

The first drug, mifepristone, works by blocking progesterone in your body. Without this important hormone, your pregnancy is starved of nutrients and ends. 

The second drug, misoprostol, causes your uterus to contract and expel the terminated pregnancy. 

After taking the medical abortion drugs, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding.

Is Medical Abortion Safe?

The drugs involved in a medical abortion are associated with potentially serious risks, which include: 

  • Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in your uterus
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Since these drugs are taken at home, it’s vital to be aware of these risks to protect your safety—especially since they can initially feel like a side effect. For example, you might experience a low-grade fever as a side effect, but if it persists, it could indicate an infection. 

What’s Needed Before a Medical Abortion?

Before seeking a medical abortion, it’s essential to receive an ultrasound. This simple scan can help reveal your pregnancy’s age and location: two important pieces of information you need to know to stay safe. 

This is because a medical abortion is only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under ten weeks; if you take the drugs and your pregnancy is further along, you have a greater chance of experiencing a risk. Medical abortion is also not recommended if you’re facing an ectopic pregnancy, when the pregnancy develops outside the uterus. 

You’re Not Alone

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone in this. At Vie Medical, we’re here for you. We offer free pregnancy resources to help you feel supported, encouraged, and informed. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment.