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Learn More About the Abortion Pill

Medication Abortion

The Abortion Pill Abortion Pill -Non Surgical Abortion
RU486- Mifepristone ("Medical Abortion")

Abortion Pill -Non Surgical Abortion
RU486- Mifepristone ("Medical Abortion")

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Abortion Pill and Medical Abortion Providers

Learn More About the Abortion Pill
The Abortion Pill allows women another choice of method for ending an early pregnancy. Medical abortions typically use the abortion pill, known in the US as Mifepristone, plus another medication called Misoprostol (Cytotec). Also referred to as RU486, or Mifepristone, or The Abortion Pill, it is administered in early pregnancy, up to 63 days from the first day of the last period (LMP), depending on the provider. A second medication, called Misoprostol, helps expel the pregnancy from the uterus.

A different medication called Methotrexate can also be used in a similar way as the Abortion Pill, but it may take much longer, has a greater failure rate, and can only be used prior to 7 weeks LMP. Both methods take two or more days and the experience is similar to a miscarriage. For an unbiased comparison of Mifepristone, Methotrexate, and Surgical abortion, see Pregnany Options Information.

Whichever method you choose, non-surgical abortion is supposed to stop your pregnancy from growing and vaginal suppositories of Misoprostol will help expel your pregnancy. Because there is always a chance of failure (5-8%) with this method, you must be willing to have a surgical abortion if the non-surgical abortion fails. In addition, you must be able to commit to two or more visits to the clinic and be in good health. There may be other requirements such as having a phone, access to transportation in case of a problem, a support person, and certain health considerations.

How safe is Mifepristone?
The FDA, which has tested it for both safety and effectiveness, has approved Mifepristone. In the past decade, over 1 million women worldwide have safely used RU486 or Mifepristone to end their pregnancies. It is now approved for use in more than 29 countries, including the US and most European countries. The overall experience with mifepristone has been highly favorable. The abortion pill works well for most women. Like all medical procedures, the abortion pill carries some risks when administered. These risks have been found to be very low, and for the most part mild, when compared to the risks of an ongoing pregnancy. However, your provider will tell you to call if you have very heavy bleeding, a high fever, or extreme pain. Read all of their directions carefully. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you return for your follow-up visit since there is a known failure rate of 5-8% and you must be sure the Abortion Pill worked.

How effective is Mifepristone?
Mifepristone followed by the vaginal insertions of Misoprostol is approximately 92-95% effective. The effectiveness of a medical abortion decreases slightly as the length of pregnancy increases. If the pregnancy continues even after the Mifepristone and Misoprostol, a surgical abortion must be done to prevent a fetus from developing abnormally. That is why the follow-up exam after two weeks is extremely important, to make sure it worked.

What are the side effects of Mifepristone?
Bleeding and cramping are a normal part of this process. The bleeding can be heavier than a normal period. Bleeding and spotting usually lasts from 9-16 days. In some cases, women may have extremely heavy bleeding and then would need to contact the clinic or their doctor immediately. Your healthcare provider will instruct you on how to handle any pain, nausea, headache, vomiting, or diarrhea that could also occur with the use of Mifeprex.

Which is better--Surgical Abortion or the Abortion Pill?
The choice of which method to use is highly personal and mostly depends on your life and your preferences. Please contact your abortion provider for more details about the abortion pill and to consider whether the abortion pill is a good choice for you. You may find the workbook “Abortion: What Method is Right for Me?” to be helpful. Both methods are very safe and effective.

Some women like that the actual abortion happens at home with the pill and they can usually avoid surgery. Other women prefer the convenience of surgical abortion, the fact that it is very effective, can be done in the privacy of a medical facility, and is generally less expensive. However, you need to decide which method will work best for you.

Ask the clinic or abortion facility these questions about the Abortion Pill:
•How much does it cost compared to surgical?
What is included in the fee?
•How long does it take?
•How many visits must I make to the clinic?
•What if it does not work? Is the surgical
procedure included in the fee? Can you go
to the same clinic or doctor if there is a
problem or it doesn’t work?
•Do they use Mifepristone and Misoprostol ?
•If there is a problem can you call someone
at the clinic 24 hours a day?

How can I get Mifepristone?
You can get Mifepristone from participating clinics that you will find listed in this directory. You can get Mifepristone only from a clinic or certain doctors' offices who agree to operate within the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. It is not available by prescription. Because it can be used only during early stages of pregnancy, you must come in for your appointment before you are 49-63 days from the day your last period began. The earlier you call the better.

For more resources, go to

Medication Abortion

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