Medication Abortion

Medication Abortion (non-surgical) / Abortion Pill up to 10 weeks

What is a medication abortion?

At your scheduled office visit, you will have an ultrasound to verify that the pregnancy is in the uterus and to determine gestational dating. A medication abortion will not be done if the pregnancy is not in the uterus, if the pregnancy cannot be seen on ultrasound, or if you are more than 10 weeks along in your pregnancy. We will also review your medical history, obtain vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse, and you will have blood work to screen for anemia, determine your blood type, and check your pregnancy hormone level (hCG).

At this office visit you will take one pill called Mifepristone (Mifeprex) which works to block a hormone called progesterone, causing the pregnancy to stop developing. You may have a little bit of cramping and some spotting after you take this pill, but most patients do not have any side effects from it.

Sometime between 24 and 48 hours after you take Mifepristone in the office, you will take four pills that we send you home with. These pills are called Misoprostol (Cytotec) and will cause you to pass the pregnancy tissue at home. You will have bleeding and cramping after you take these pills. This is normal and to be expected. If you were between 9-10 weeks pregnant when you came in to the office, you may be given a second set of Misoprostol pills to take four hours after the first dose to help your uterus completely pass the pregnancy. The Misoprostol pills may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, or fatigue. These side effects typically go away on their own within a short period of time. 

Depending on how far along you were when you started the medication abortion process, you will have a follow-up visit two weeks after your initial visit in the office, or you will be given a lab slip to go for blood work at Quest Diagnostics 5 days after your visit. About 1 in 20, or 5% of medication abortions are not successful, and require a surgical procedure in the office to complete. 

If you are further along, greater than 10 weeks — learn about Surgical Abortion care at Four Women Health Services.

National Abortion Federation