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The Abortion Pill

Also known as a medical or chemical abortion, this protocol typically uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy.

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How does it work?

The abortion pill, also known as a medical abortion, typically uses a combination of two drugs to end a pregnancy. The first pill is mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is what the body requires for a pregnancy to continue. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken 24 to 48 hours later. This medication causes cramping and bleeding and empties the uterus. The FDA has approved the two-drug regimen for pregnancies up to 10 weeks. 

Depending on the method and effectiveness of the drugs, you may be advised to take multiple doses or additional drugs. There are some medical abortion protocols available that are not FDA approved. Be sure you call Mend before taking abortion medication for more information.

Is it safe for me to get a medical abortion?

It is not recommended you take the abortion pill if:

  • You have a pregnancy that has progressed more than 70 days from the start of your last period. An ultrasound should be done to determine how far you are in your pregnancy.
  • You are using an IUD (intrauterine device). It must first be removed before attempting a medical abortion.
  • It is possible you have miscarried or that you have an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that has implanted outside of the uterus). An ultrasound can determine if either of these apply to you.

There are other medical conditions which would make a medical abortion unsafe. This is why seeing a doctor is important before seeking a medical abortion.
 

Are there additional risks to ordering online?

Drugs sold online are not subject to FDA manufacturing controls so it can be risky to purchase pills online and to administer them without the oversight of a medical professional. We recommend you confirm your pregnancy and gestational age at Mend before moving forward with any abortion choice. Here are some of the factors that may increase the risks associated with this type of abortion:

  1. There is no doctor to assess your health risks before taking the medication.
  2. There is no ultrasound for accurate dating of your pregnancy or to rule out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
  3. There is no physical exam to rule out miscarriage. Up to 25% of early pregnancies end spontaneously in miscarriage.
  4. There is no follow up to confirm you are no longer pregnant and to assess blood loss.
  5. There is no guarantee about the quality of the pills.

 

What if I change my mind?

Administering progesterone can potentially counteract the effects of mifepristone, a drug commonly used in abortion pill protocols. If you have taken mifepristone and would like to try to reverse the effects of your medical abortion:

Contact: 877-558-0333 or visit: Abortion Pill Reversal

What can I expect after I take the abortion pills?

We have spoken with many women after they had medical abortions and one of the things we hear most often is, “It was nothing like what I expected.” While there are many sites that mention the abortion pill, they do not always provide good details. If you are ordering the abortion pill online or through telehealth, you might get very little time to ask important questions or be given clear expectations. If you have questions about your options, you can call Mend at 918-745-6000.

Here are some things women experience after administering a medical abortion:

  • Some women experience severe cramping for weeks afterward. If cramping and bleeding are excessive or last beyond 2 weeks, further medical attention may be required.
  • You may have a positive pregnancy test up to five weeks after a successful abortion. HCG will remain in your system for some time. If you are uncertain if your medical abortion was successful, an ultrasound can determine the viability of your pregnancy.
  • When passing the fetus, some women see identifiable body parts. Eight weeks after conception all of the organs and the arms and legs are present, though not fully developed yet. Because of this, some women see the developing baby after they expel it from their bodies. The sight may be very distressing for many women, especially when they have no one around to support them emotionally.
  • Every individual is affected differently. While some women experience relief after having an abortion, many others suffer from depression, anxiety, poor body image, or a numbness and inability to bond with others. Just as it is important to have a follow up appointment with your doctor to make sure that your abortion has not resulted in infection or other health complications, it is also important to reach out to a professional or someone you trust to talk about your emotional and mental state regarding your abortion. 

Can I terminate my pregnancy using only misoprostol?

Misoprostol is a drug that causes cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus. In a hospital setting, this drug is occasionally used to induce labor, treat postpartum hemorrhage, or prevent stomach ulcers.

Misoprostol is often taken vaginally, but can sometimes be administered by holding them in your mouth so that your body will slowly absorb the medicine. Most distributors will advise you to take 12 or more misoprostol pills over the course of 6 hours. 

During this time, a woman can expect cramping, bleeding, and in some cases, nausea and diarrhea. It can take anywhere from 4-5 hours to 2 days for a woman to pass the contents of her uterus.

 

What is an “at-home” or “self-managed” abortion?

A self-managed abortion is when a woman takes the responsibility and task of performing a medical abortion on her own without the help of a nurse or doctor. While there are some abortion providers who encourage this kind of abortion, it has a greater risk than an abortion conducted with the help of a medical professional.
 
Mend does not provide or refer for abortions, but we can inform you of some of the factors that might increase your risk and we can provide you with a medical confirmation of your pregnancy and gestational age before you take any abortion medication.
 
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Seek medical care and good information from medical professionals. 

Is a medical abortion easier than a surgical abortion?

For many women, abortion is a demanding process with a long physical, mental, and emotional recovery. We have found this to be just as true for medical abortions as it is for surgical. Here are some challenges regarding the abortion pill that our clients have shared with us:
  • Often, women are alone.
    • Instead of being in an operating room with other people, many women are alone in their homes when they take the pill. Later, when the pregnancy is terminated and the fetus passes, women are typically in their bathrooms or their bedrooms or even at work. They do not have support or anyone to talk to about the pain they are experiencing or what is happening to their body.
  • The exact protocol can be confusing without a medical professional to direct you.
    • The abortion pill is accessible through many online sites. Many of them have conflicting instructions for when and how the abortion pill should be taken. Some women we have spoken with voiced confusion over the process and in some cases, this posed additional risks on their health.
  • The bleeding and pain is often worse and goes on longer than women expect.
    • The abortion pill protocol does not terminate a pregnancy immediately. Cramping and bleeding can stretch out to as many as five weeks and can be very intense for some women.
  • Many women see and must decide how to dispose of the fetus once it is passed.
    • When the baby passes, there are sometimes identifiable body parts. Depending on where the woman is when she begins to feel contractions, she will be faced with the decision of what to do with the baby. Women have stated they consider flushing it down the toilet, pushing it down the shower drain, or throwing it away. Some women upon seeing the expelled fetus, feel the desire to bury it and achieve closure.

We believe in a woman’s right to know and to be prepared for the challenges that come with her pregnancy choice. Often, there is no easy choice, but Mend is here to support you and offer you care regardless of the option you choose.
 

Can I talk to my doctor about abortion?

Yes. A doctor in a state where abortion is illegal or restricted may not be able to assist you with your abortion, but it is important to be honest with your doctor about any medication you have taken or if you are having any health complications related to abortion. This can help her or him know how best to treat these complications. In Oklahoma, a woman can not be prosecuted for self-managing an abortion. Only those who assist in an abortion can be penalized. Mend is HIPAA compliant and keeps your information confidential.

What if I don’t know how far along I am?

The only way to know for sure how far along you are is by getting an ultrasound.

It is important to determine how far along you are before taking the abortion pill protocol. The FDA approves the abortion pill protocol for up to 10 weeks gestational age and taking these medications when you are past that point in your pregnancy can result in health complications. Call Mend today to schedule a free ultrasound.

Disclaimer: Mend does not perform or refer for abortion services. We provide a safe place to explore options.