Maybe you’re in Plainfield, Illinois. Maybe you’re in another of the surrounding communities in the greater Chicagoland area. Wherever you are, if you have questions about RU486, we’d like to connect you with some answers.
We are Avenue Women’s Center. Although our offices are located in DuPage County, our five locations are likely near to where you live or work. Perhaps the closest for a Plainfield, Illinois resident is our Naperville location at 1301 S. Route 59. We wanted to share with you our location, because if the reason you are wondering about RU486, the abortion pill, is that you’re currently facing an unplanned pregnancy, we have other services to offer which may be of assistance to you. For more information about that, please read to the end of this article or contact us. In the meantime, here’s some information about RU486.
RU486 is commonly referred to as the abortion pill. It’s actually a regimen of two different medications taken in succession. When RU486 is utilized for an abortion, it is known as a medical (or medication) abortion. RU486 is not the same as the “morning after pill.”
How does RU486 work to terminate a pregnancy?
The first pill of the series, Mifeprex, is given at the doctor’s office on Day 1 of the multi-step abortion process. The generic name for this drug is mifepristone. Mifeprex is available only through a physician, and there are strict guidelines for its administration. A physical examination and accurate dating of the pregnancy through an ultrasound are required for its prescription. It can be used only until week 10 of the pregnancy, or 70 days since the first day of the last menstrual period. If the pregnancy has progressed past the 70th day, a surgical abortion must be performed to terminate the pregnancy.
Mifeprex (mifepristone) stops the growth of the pregnancy by blocking the production of hormones necessary for the pregnancy to continue. The lining of the uterus breaks down, removing the source of nourishment required for the pregnancy to grow.
The next step is for the pregnancy to be expelled from the uterus. During the first doctor visit, the second pill, Misoprostol, is typically given to be taken at home about 24 to 48 hours later. Abortion providers should give clear instructions for taking the pill. This drug causes uterine contractions to begin in order to clear the uterus of the pregnancy. Soon after taking the Misoprostol most women should expect intense cramping and heavy bleeding, more than from a regular menstrual period. They may also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mild fever or chills, and light lactation from their nipples. This part of the process can last anywhere from several hours to a few days. Bleeding or spotting may continue for up to two weeks. It is important for women to follow their doctors’ instructions and call the abortion provider during this period if they have any questions or concerns.
Another physical examination is required about two weeks after taking the medications to confirm that the abortion is complete and there is no tissue remaining inside the uterus. If it is determined there is still tissue present, it’s likely that a surgical procedure will be required to remove it.
Are there risks involved with the use of RU486?
Although generally considered to be safe and effective, as with any medical procedure the possibility exists for problems. These may include an allergic reaction to the drugs, infection, or other complications. As noted earlier, if the process fails to result in a complete abortion, a follow-up procedure will be necessary. The abortion pill is not recommended for women who have anemia, seizure or bleeding disorders, who are taking blood clotting medication, or who are using an IUD. For these reasons it is imperative that you go over your personal health history with your doctor to weigh any potential risks to you.
We hope this has helped answer some of your basic questions about RU486. Perhaps it has raised additional questions you weren’t anticipating. Whether you are in Plainfield, Illinois or somewhere else in the DuPage County area, Avenue Women’s Center can assist you with information and services as you determine your next steps for your unplanned pregnancy. All our services are private and confidential, and as a non-profit limited women’s medical clinic, we are able to offer many at no cost to you. It has been our commitment for over three decades to meet every one of our clients with nonjudgmental respect and compassion. Please allow us to walk with you through this challenging time. Please call or text us today.
- American Pregnancy Association. (2017, June). Abortion Pill. Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/abortion-pill/
- American Pregnancy Association. (2017, August). Medical Abortion Procedures. Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/medical-abortions/
- WebMD. Abortion – Choices: Medical Abortion. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/abortion-choices-medical-abortion
- US Food and Drug Administration. (2016, March). Mifeprex (mifepristone) Information. Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm111323.htm
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2015, May). Induced Abortion. Retrieved from: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Induced-Abortion
- Very Well. (2017, August). The Abortion Pill – RU486. Retrieved from: https://www.verywell.com/ru486-the-abortion-pill-906956
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.