As you watched a positive result appear on the pregnancy test, you may have felt shock, fear, confusion, and anxiety coursing through you. Right away, questions about what you should do and where you can go for help might have raced across your mind. If it’s still early in your pregnancy, you may have heard about the abortion pill (RU-486). Since it doesn’t involve surgery, perhaps you’ve begun to think about this as a potential unexpected pregnancy option. But while you might have felt certain about this decision at first, maybe a few questions began to pop up in your head. Before you commit to a medical abortion, there’s nothing wrong with gathering more information to avoid any potential surprises. Are you looking into answers for your questions about RU-486?
Do you have questions about the abortion pill? Avenue Women’s Center has been serving women in the Chicagoland area since 1981, helping them to build confidence in their unexpected pregnancy decisions by equipping them with reliable information. Our expert pregnancy consultants can address any concerns you may have about taking RU-486 in a private consultation. We’ll offer clarification about abortion procedures and potential alternatives. We’re here to listen and serve as an encouraging resource throughout the decision-making process.
Contact us today to schedule a free appointment with our caring staff!
What Usually Happens Prior to a Medical Abortion?
An unexpected pregnancy plan is often completed in steps that reduce a larger goal into a small, manageable task list. Figuring out how to create a plan and gather information can seem stressful, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed after learning you’re pregnant. But this doesn’t have to be all on you. When it comes to moving forward with a plan, having a confidential resource, such as your healthcare provider, a counselor, or a pregnancy consultant work with you can offer you support.
After discussing your options and learning about available resources, if medical abortion is still something you’re pursuing, you may want to gather more details. Before RU-486 can be taken, you typically have to have a physical exam first. This may involve an ultrasound to ensure the pregnancy has not implanted outside of your uterus, and to see if the gestational age is beyond 10 weeks. Either of these circumstances could potentially render you ineligible to take RU-486.
The first dose of the abortion pill is often referred to as mifepristone, and this is usually given to you at the clinic. This works by blocking progesterone from your uterus. It will typically break down the uterine lining to keep the pregnancy from continuing. The second dose is called misoprostol. This one is sometimes not taken at the clinic, but at home. Misoprostol will generally bring on contractions to expel the uterine content from your body.
Once you’ve taken both forms of medication, you may need to go back to the clinic for an exam. This is typically done to confirm if the abortion is incomplete or not.
How Long Does a Medical Abortion Take and Are There Side Effects?
Women are usually told to take misoprostol 24 to 48 hours after they’ve taken mifepristone. It’s possible you may experience cramping and heavy bleeding after the second dose. And it may take a few hours or days for the process to be complete. While this is happening, you may want to keep absorption pads nearby. Some women have reported experiencing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and diarrhea after a medical abortion.
If you notice any of the following side effects, please don’t hesitate to contact emergency medical services.
- Persistent bleeding that occurs for two hours or more
- Blood clots that continue for more than two hours
- 100.4°F fever or higher
- Nausea or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours
- Foul smelling discharge
- Pregnancy symptoms
What Kind of Aftercare May Be Required After a Medical Abortion?
Before taking RU-486, you might want to consult with a healthcare provider or a pregnancy consultant about what an aftercare plan may look like. Is there someone who can be with when you take the abortion pill? And can they drive you to the hospital should the need arise? How long might you need to recover? Who can you talk to before and after the medical abortion in order to maintain a supportive network?
Emotional challenges can make it hard to settle on the pregnancy decision that is right for you. Since this may be a difficult time for you, it’s recommended you talk through your choices with a professional resource who can help you understand your options.
It’s normal to still have questions about the abortion pill before committing to this decision. Avenue Women’s Center can meet with you for a free appointment where we can sit down and discuss your concerns. We offer limited ultrasound exams at no cost. An ultrasound will provide relevant information about your pregnancy, alerting you to any early pregnancy risks that may require further treatment. On top of medical referrals, we’re here to answer any questions you may have about available resources. \
Reach out today for help navigating through an unexpected pregnancy!
- American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (2014, March). Medical Management of First-Trimester Abortion. Retrieved from: https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-bulletin/articles/2014/03/medical-management-of-first-trimester-abortion
- American Pregnancy Association. Abortion Pill. Retrieved from: https://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/abortion-pill/
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.