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What is a Medical Abortion?

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering your options, you may be wondering about a medical abortion, also known as “the abortion pill”. While a medical abortion is an option for you, it’s important for your health to know all the facts you can about the medication, including any known risks or side effects.

How Does a Medical Abortion Work?

A medical abortion involves taking medication to end a pregnancy and involves two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. 

Mifepristone is taken first, and it works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is a hormone necessary to maintain your pregnancy. 

Misoprostol is then taken a few days later, and it causes your uterus to contract, expelling the pregnancy from your body.

Side Effects, Risks, and Limitations of Medical Abortion

According to the Mayo Clinic there are several side effects and risks you may face after a medical abortion, including:

  • Heavy bleeding and cramping: This is the most common side effect and can last for several hours or days.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever: These side effects can occur after taking misoprostol.
  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection with any abortion procedure.
  • Allergic reaction: Rarely, a woman may have an allergic reaction to the medication.
  • Incomplete abortion: In rare cases, the medication may not end the pregnancy completely, and a surgical abortion may be necessary.

There are also limitations to “the abortion pill” to be aware of, with one of the primary limitations being the age of your pregnancy. A medical abortion is only recommended if you are in the first 10 weeks of your pregnancy. Attempting the medication after 10 weeks can lead to serious complications, including an incomplete abortion. 

Other factors that can make you ineligible for a medical abortion procedure are:

  • You have an intrauterine device (IUD).
  • You have a suspected pregnancy outside of the uterus.
  • You have certain medical conditions.
  • You take a blood thinner or certain steroid medicines.
  • You can’t make follow-up visits to your provider.
  • You have an allergy to the drug used.

Get the Answers You Need

Before you make a decision, it’s important to get all the information you can about your pregnancy. 

Getting those answers starts with confirming your pregnancy with medical-grade pregnancy testing. Even if you’ve already taken an at-home test, it’s best to confirm your pregnancy with testing at a local clinic.

If that test is positive then an ultrasound scan is the next step in getting important details about your pregnancy. An ultrasound can provide information like the age of your pregnancy, which is important to know if you are considering a medical abortion. 

An ultrasound can also determine the location of your pregnancy. A normal pregnancy will occur in your uterus, but sometimes a pregnancy can implant somewhere else, like your fallopian tubes. This is called an ectopic pregnancy and, while rare, is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical intervention.

We’re Here for You

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can make you feel scared and overwhelmed. But getting all the details you can about your pregnancy can help you make the best decision for your health.

The trained staff at Palm Beach Women’s Clinic can provide you with pregnancy testing and follow-up ultrasound if necessary, all at no cost to you. And since your appointment is also 100% confidential, you can have peace of mind knowing all your questions and concerns that you have will be answered with your privacy in mind. 

Contact us today to schedule your no-cost appointment. It’s your body and your future, so you deserve to have the facts you need to empower you to make the right choice about your pregnancy.

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