Medication abortion

Whether you're thinking about having a medication abortion, or you're concerned about a woman who may be having one, or you're someone who's just curious about medication abortion, you may have many questions. We have tried to address these questions here.  Please let us know if we have been helpful.

It's common for women to be nervous about having a medication abortion — or any other medical procedure. But many of us feel better if we know what to expect. Here's a general idea of how it works and what to expect.

Before taking the abortion pill, you will need to

  • discuss your options
  • talk about your medical history
  • have laboratory tests
  • Have a physical exam. This usually includes an ultrasound.
  • read and sign papers

Medication abortion is a process that begins immediately after taking the abortion pill.

There are three steps:

Step 1 — The Abortion pill
You doctor will give you an abortion pill at the clinic. You will also be given some antibiotics to start taking after the abortion pill. The abortion pill works by blocking the hormone progesterone. Without progesterone, the lining of the uterus breaks down, and pregnancy cannot continue.

STEP TWO — Misoprostol
The second medicine to be taken is — misoprostol. It causes the uterus to empty itself. Doctors usually plan the timing and place for the second step. You need to take the medicine for three days post taking the abortion pill.

Misoprostol causes cramps and you bleed heavily. Some women may begin bleeding before taking the second medicine. But for most, the bleeding and cramping begins after taking it. It usually lasts a few hours. You may see large blood clots or tissue at the time of the abortion.

More than half of women abort within four or five hours after taking the second medicine. For others, it takes longer. But most women abort within a few days.

It's normal to have some bleeding or spotting for up to four weeks after the abortion. You may use sanitary pads or tampons. But using pads makes it easier to keep track of your bleeding.

Step 3- Follow up

Follow-up is important to make sure your abortion is complete and that you are well. You will need an ultrasound or blood test to ensure the abortion was successful.

How Does Medication Abortion Feel?

For most women, medication abortion is like an early miscarriage. It is normal for you to have bleeding and cramping. You might also

  • feel dizzy
  • feel strong cramps
  • feel nauseous or vomit
  • have diarrhoea
  • feel temporary abdominal pain
  • have temporary mild fever or chills

Acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil) can reduce most of these symptoms. Avoid taking aspirin.
You may feel more at ease if you have a family support or trusted loved one with you during the abortion.



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