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 Pills)
PLEASE NOTE: We use a combination of 2 medications to end a pregnancy: Μifepгistоnе and Μisоpгostоl. There is not just one pill taken to end a pregnancy.
A medication abortion (also known as the “abortion pills”) is a safe and effective method for an abortion through 11 weeks.
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 about 2 hours on weekdays and 3-4 hours on Saturdays — which includes registration, paperwork, lab services, ultrasound, and receiving the medication from the doctor.
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.
After two (2) weeks you will complete your follow-up wellness report: either online, by phone or in person. After four (4) weeks you will take a urine hCG hormone test which will be provided to you.
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.
Today at FCHC: During your appointment at FCHC you were administered the Abortion Pill (Mifepristone). This may cause bleeding.
Within 48 hours At Home: You were dispensed 4 Misoprostol tablets to take as directed at home, even if bleeding had started.
How to Take Your Next Pills: Please refer to the Medication Guide Booklet you were given.
- 4 Misoprostol tablets provided – Take as instructed by our clinician within 24 to 48 hours.
- 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 misoprostol.
- You can also continue to manage painful cramps with over-the-counter ibuprofen.
- Wear a maxi pad – Drink fluids – Eat well and maintain your daily routines as comfortable for you.’
What to Expect:
- Cramping, bleeding and spotting are expected during your Medication Abortion treatment.
- 2 to 48 hours after taking Misoprostol 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 as clots and pregnancy tissue is expelled
- Chills, fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea are common side effects of the medicines.
- Bleeding decreases within 48 hours. Irregular bleeding and spotting may continue for 6-8 weeks until your next period.
- If persistent spotting and bleeding concerns you please call us. You can also note it on your 2-week Follow-Up Wellness Report.
- Pregnancy hormones gradually decrease so pregnancy symptoms subside within 10-14 days, but a Urine hormone test will continue to read positive for 4 to 6 weeks.
|What do I need to avoid?
• Pads should be used after your procedure to monitor bleeding. FCHC suggests you avoid tampons or menstrual cycle cups until bleeding has slowed down and you are only spotting.
• Do not use vaginal medications or suppositories unless you have checked with your physician. Do not douche.
• FCHC suggests refraining from sexual activity for the next 7 days.
|What should I do to recover quickly and easily?
• Return to your normal activities as soon as you can. You do not need bed rest. You may shower and take baths.
• Enjoy fresh air and exercise. Regular walks and light exercise can help decrease cramping.
• Treat cramping with Ibuprofen. A cold pack or heating pad on the abdomen or lower back is helpful. You can also massage your
abdomen to relieve discomfort.
• Strenuous activity (heavy lifting, exercise) may increase bleeding. This is normal.
|Additional Important Information:
• You can expect a period in 4-6 weeks after your abortion.
• Your first period will be heavier and longer, will include small clots with heavier cramping than usual. This is normal.
• Contraception information can be found here: www.bedsider.org/birth–control.
• Pregnancy can occur before your next period.
• Urine pregnancy hCG hormone tests will be positive up to 4-8 weeks. Call if concerned.
• Discounted fees are available for continuing GYN services
|CALL US IF YOU EXPERIENCE:
• Persistent fever – 100.4 or higher for 3 hours or more
• Severe persistent cramping or pain not helped by medication
• Very heavy bleeding: SOAKING 1 maxi pads every hour and or passing 4 or more large clots walnut size or larger for 2 hours or more.
• Persistent vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours
• Severe malaise or weakness 48 hours after misoprostol
• Persistent pregnancy symptoms after 2 weeks, or if you do not have a period by 8 weeks.
IN TWO (2) WEEKS COMPLETE YOUR FOLLOW-UP WELLNESS REPORT:
- Online: go to www.fallschurchhealthcare.com/follow-up or,
- call us to complete your Wellness Report at 703 532-2500 or,
- Falls Church Healthcare Center also offers in person follow-up appointments. Call to make an appointment
IN FOUR (4) WEEKS COMPLETE THE URINE hCG HORMONE TEST YOU WERE GIVEN. Call us if you have any concerns.