Telehealth is available!
FCHC is proud to announce that we have implemented Telehealth as part of your abortion care appointment. Telehealth allows for you to meet with our patient educators to review your medical history with you, go over your options, and answer any questions you may have — at a time and in a location convenient for you! Find out more at our Telehealth page.
Medication Abortion (Abortion Pill)
A medication abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”) is a safe and effective method for an abortion through 9 weeks.
At Falls Church Healthcare we use a combination of 2 medications to end a pregnancy: Μifepгistоnе and Μisоpгostоl
You will have an opportunity to meet with your patient educator to discuss the procedure and your feelings and concerns prior to this appointment. Our staff is here to support and help both patients and those who are with you in this experience.
Completing the medication abortion procedure itself only takes 5-10 minutes. However, you should expect to be in our center for your appointments for 1.5 to 2 hours — which includes registration, paperwork, lab services, procedure review and your actual abortion care appointment.
What to Expect:
- At your abortion care appointment our clinician will give you the first medication, Μifepгistоnе. This blocks the hormone progesterone which sustains a pregnancy. Without this hormone, the endometrial lining and developing pregnancy shrinks from the uterine wall.
- The second medication, Μisоpгostоl, which you will take at home, helps the cervix soften and uterine cramping and bleeding (like during your period) begins helping to expel the ended pregnancy. Cramping and bleeding be moderate to heavy.
At Our Office: You will swallow the first pill. It is not unusual to have some spotting or even bleeding after the first medication, but the procedure is not yet complete.
At Home: You will take the Μisоpгostоl tablets as directed, helping the uterus to contract and empty. You will take these pills 12 to 48 hours later, considering your clinician’s recommendations and your personal schedule. After you take the Μisоpгostоl you will have bleeding and strong cramping that may be severe, dramatic or simply similar to one of your “bad” periods. This may last a few hours.
- A heating pad can help with the cramps.
- You may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, or feel tired. These symptoms usually last only a short time and stop on their own. Everyone’s experience and comfort levels will be different.
- You may be given a prescription by your physician for pain management to be filled at your pharmacy.
Aftercare: Plan to follow up by phone in 2 to 3 weeks. It is very important for patients to have a follow-up examination especially if pregnancy symptoms have not decreased.
There are options for your follow-up assessment to verify you have successfully expelled your pregnancy tissue completely which we can review with you. Additional Information on Abortion Pill (Medication Abortion):
- National Abortion Federation: I’m Pregnant: What are the options?
- National Abortion Federation: First Trimester Abortion: A Comparison of Procedures
- “Medical Abortion” — a video from Pharmacy5in5:
Please see below for Medication Abortion aftercare instructions.
Your Care at Home
You can also download a PDF of this form locally here.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- At FCHC: The Abortion Pill (Μifepгistone), was taken during your appointment at FCHC. This may cause bleeding
- At Home: Μisopгostol: Take as directed at home, even if bleeding has started
- Cramping, bleeding and/or spotting are expected
- 2 to 48 hours after taking Μisopгostol at home you will experience severe-to-mild bleeding and increased cramping, lasting 4-8 hours
- Very severe cramping, much more than a usual period is common, especially when clots and pregnancy tissue are expelled
- Chills, fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea are common
- Bleeding decreases within 48 hours. Irregular bleeding and spotting may continue for 6-8 weeks. Please report persistent spotting and bleeding in your Online/Phone Follow-up Assessment
- Pregnancy hormones gradually decrease, and pregnancy symptoms subside within 10-14 days
How to Manage
- 4 Μisopгostol tablets provided – Take as instructed by our physician
- Choose a time when you have privacy, access to the bathroom, and can take care of yourself
- We recommend taking over-the-counter ibuprofen: four (4) 200mg tablets before taking Μisopгostol
- You can also continue to manage pain with over-the-counter ibuprofen while cramping
- The prescribed pain reliever may be safely added to ibuprofen
- Wear a maxi pad – Drink fluids – Eat well – Rest
|What to Avoid||How to recover quickly and easily|
|Additional Info||CALL US IF YOU EXPERIENCE|
COMPLETING YOUR FOLLOW-UP ASSESSMENT THREE WEEKS AFTER YOUR IN-PERSON APPOINTMENT:
- Online: go to fallschurchhealthcare.com/follow-up or Call 703-532-2500.
- During the COVID pandemic Falls Church Healthcare Center provides Online/Phone Follow-up Assessment.
- Prior to your Follow-up Assessment complete the urine pregnancy hCG hormone test you were given.