|FCHC is proud to announce that we have implemented Telehealth as part of your abortioncare appointment.
Teleheath 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 mediction abortion 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: Mifepristone and Misoprostol
Completing the medication abortion procedure itself only takes 5-10 minutes. However, you should expect to be in our center for your appointments for 2-3 hours — which includes registration, paperwork, lab services, procedure review and your actual abortioncare appointment.
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.
What to Expect:
- At your abortioncare appointment our clinician will give you the first medication, Mifepristone. 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, Misoprostol, 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 Mifepristone (also known as ‘the abortion 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 Misoprostol tablets, which are taken orally, 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 Misoprostol 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.
It is important to have a follow-up assessment of your wellness after your at-home abortion to ensures you are well and that you have had bleeding and the pregnancy has passed from your uterus without complications.
Please complete a follow-up three weeks following your abortion appointment by calling 703-532-2500 or by visiting https://fallschurchhealthcare.com/follow-up. Taking a urine pregnancy test prior to your follow-up will help our nurse in your follow-up assessment.
What medications are used?
- Mifeprex (Mifepristone): This medication blocks the hormone progesterone, that sustains a pregnancy. Without this hormone, the endometrial lining and developing pregnancy shrinks from the uterine wall. It is possibly to have bleeding after taking this pill. You are to take Misoprostol even if you have started to bleed.
- The second medication, Misoprostol (which you will take at home) helps the cervix soften. This medication will help expel the ended pregnancy and menstrual tissue by bleeding and cramping.
How do I take the mediation at home?
- Take your four Misoprostol tablets as discussed with your Doctor.
- If you can, choose a time when you have had a good meal and plenty of rest.
- Wear a maxi pad and stay hydrated.
What should I expect at home?
After taking Mifepristone most women experience few side effects:
- Chills, Nausea and diarrhea are possible but rare.’
- Some women report cramping & bleeding or spotting after taking this pill. If this is happens, still take the Misoprostol at home as directed.
- After taking the Misoprostol at home women may experience severe to mild cramping then bleeding.
- This bleeding and cramping usually begins in 2 to 48 hours after taking the misoprostol.
- Your cramping may be much more than with your period.
- Very severe cramps are normal, especially when pregnancy tissue is passing.
- Manage your cramps with NSAIDS or the prescription pain reliever your doctor gave you.
- Your bleeding may be much more than with your period. Your bleeding usually decreases to a light flow within 48 hours however, bleeding & spotting may continue for 6-8 weeks. We can discuss this at your follow-up if it concerns you.
What should I do to recover quickly and Easily?
- Return to your normal daily activities. Enjoy fresh air and walks.
- Stay hydrated, have good meals and get rest
- To avoid increase risk of infection or unintended pregnancy avoid sexual activity for at least 7 days or until your follow-up.
When should I call? Please keep and re-read your Medication Guide. Call us if you have:
- A temperature of 100.4 F or higher for 2 hours in a row.
- Very heavy bleeding: soaking 2-3 maxi pads an hour for 2-3 hours in a row.
- Persistent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or extreme weakness more than 24 hours after taking Misoprostol at home.
- If you are concerned at any point between now & your follow-up, please call us.
- If you cannot reach your healthcare provider, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Take your Mifeprex medication guide with you.
When will my period come back? You can expect a period in 4 – 8 weeks, though you may ovulate before then.