Abortion by pillis
a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy (up to 7 weeks) by using
medicines Mifeprex and Misoprostol.
There are two steps. Your clinician gives you a Mifeprex
tablet to take in the office. 24 to 48 hours later you will use a second medicine,
Misoprostol, at home as a suppository.
Medical abortion is approximately 95% effective.
MEDICAL ABORTION BY PILL (RU 486)
Abortion by pill
is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy by using medicine. You
must be at least 18 years of age to receive a medical abortion.
This non-surgical process may be used up to 49 days (7 weeks) from the last
On the day of your appointment you will receive an ultrasound and laboratory
You will be given materials to read.
A counselor will meet with you to review all instructions, give you your medications
and answer your questions.
You’ll meet with the doctor and then take the first pill (Mifeprex)
in the office. Within 48 hours you will use the second pills (Misoprostol)
at home. The combination of the two medicines will cause you to bleed and
in most cases end the pregnancy within a few hours of using the second medicine
You’ll return in 3 weeks to make sure everything worked properly.
What is the medical abortion?
The medical abortion is a way to end pregnancy without using instruments or
surgery. It’s done with medicine up to 49 days from the first day of
the last period.
Why do some women prefer the medical
• No anesthesia or surgery required
• It can be done very early in the pregnancy
• They feel more in control
• They may feel it is less invasive
• More “natural”
• They may feel it’s more like a miscarriage
• It’s more private
• They have the abortion at home
Who can choose medical abortion?
You must be at least 18 years old. You may choose the abortion if you are
less than 49 days (7weeks) pregnant from the first day of your last period.
You must agree to have a surgical abortion if the medical abortion fails.
You need access to a telephone, transportation, and backup medical care.
Medical abortion is NOT recommended
• Are more than 49 days pregnant (7 weeks)
• Are breastfeeding
• Take anti-clotting medication or have blood-clotting disorders
• Have severe heart, liver, or active inflammatory bowel disease
• Have certain severe kidney problems
• Have serious immune system problems, such as HIV
• Have seizures
• Take any medicine that should not be combined with Mifeprex( mifepristone)
• Cannot return for a follow up or cannot have someone with you when
you use the misoprostol at home
How does the medical abortion work?
There are two steps: Your clinician gives you a Mifeprex tablet to take in
the office and 24 to 48 hours later you will use a second medicine, Misoprostol,
at home as a suppository. In combination the drugs cause a miscarriage.
Step One: Mifeprex blocks the hormone progesterone. Without progesterone
the lining of the uterus breaks down ending the pregnancy.
Step Two: Misoprostol makes the uterus contract and empty causing a
How long does it take?
Some women (2-5%) may begin to bleed after using the Mifeprex in the office.
Even so you must use Misoprostol as instructed. Most women will bleed and
pass the pregnancy within several hours of inserting the Misoprostol at home.
How effective is it?
Medical abortion is approximately 95% effective. Mifeprex and Misoprostol
will cause serious birth defects to this pregnancy. If the medical abortion
does not work a surgical abortion MUST be performed.
Approximately three weeks later: You must return to the office to confirm
that the abortion is complete. A repeat examination and possible ultrasound
may be performed at this visit. Sometimes you may need to return for a second
How does it feel?
You may experience some or all of the following:
• strong cramps
• nausea or vomiting
• abdominal pain
Anaprox or Ibuprofen (Motrin) will reduce many of these symptoms. DO
NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ASPIRIN PRODUCTS.
Call the Physician if you:
• Soak more than two sanitary pads per hour for 2 consecutive hours
• Bleed heavily for more than 12 hours in a row
• Pass clots larger than a size of a lemon
• Run a temperature over 100.4
• Have severe pain not relieved by pain medication
• Have an allergic reaction to any medication (itching, rash or hives)
• Develop a foul vaginal odor
Will I need a follow-up?
Yes. Your Physician needs to make sure the abortion is complete.
What if I don’t have a complete
abortion after taking the medicine?
Your Physician will decide what option is best for you. You may:
• Take more misoprostol
• Need a surgical D&C (at no additional cost for local anesthesia
and a small fee for general anesthesia)
When will I get my period?
You should expect your next menstrual cycle four to eight weeks after your
miscarriage. If you start birth control pills you will know exactly when your
period will begin.
When can I have sex again?
You should not have vaginal intercourse until you are cleared by the Physician
at your follow-up visit. You could get pregnant right away after the miscarriage.
You should discuss birth control options with your Physician or counselor.
Abortion By Pill is available at:
POTOMAC FAMILY PLANNING CENTER, ROCKVILLE, MD
Jackson Place North
966 Hungerford Drive, Suite 24
Rockville, MD 20850
HAGERSTOWN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES
160 West Washington Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21470
HILLCREST WOMEN’S MEDICAL CENTER, HARRISBURG
2709 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
POTOMAC FAMILY PLANNING CENTER, WASHINGTON, DC
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