Medical Abortion (Abortion Pill)
A medical abortion is a safe and effective method for an abortion up to 9 weeks.
At Falls Church Healthcare we use a combination of 2 medications to end a pregnancy: Mifepristone and Misoprostol
Completing the medical 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 health 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 (Medical 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: