If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be anxious and thinking through all the possibilities. The abortion pill may be an option you’re considering and researching.
As with any medical procedure, you owe it to yourself to know everything about your choice. The abortion pill comes with associated risks you should be aware of before you decide.
What is the Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill, also known as a medication abortion or a medical abortion, is actually a two-step process involving two doses of medication.
The first pill, mifepristone, is usually prescribed and taken at an abortion clinic. This pill blocks progesterone, preventing the pregnancy from growing. This thins the lining of the uterus and prevents implantation of the embryo.
The second pill, misoprostol, is taken hours or sometimes days later. This causes the uterus to contract and expel the embryo through the vagina.
You will need to see a doctor about a week later to confirm the abortion is complete with no further complications. The FDA has approved this method only for early pregnancies, up to nine weeks past your last menstrual period in most cases.
What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?
There are several physical, emotional, and psychological risks associated with the abortion pill you should know about.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following possible physical risks of medical abortion:
- Incomplete abortion
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
In addition to these possible physical risks, some emotional or psychological side effects may be possible as well. It’s common to experience a range of negative emotions and in some cases, lasting mental health effects.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “having a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences”.
Before Taking the Abortion Pill
Taking the abortion pill is a serious medical decision. You owe it to yourself and your health to carefully consider all the facts before you decide. To manage your risk, you will want to consider taking a few steps to learn more.
Confirm Your Pregnancy
In order to be confident in the healthiest choice for you, you will want to get your pregnancy confirmed first. Although you may have already taken a home test, medical-grade pregnancy testing confirmed by a licensed professional can help you know for sure.
Assess Your Safety
Since the abortion pill is only recommended and effective for pregnancies up to ten weeks, you’ll want to be certain of the stage of your pregnancy.
With an ultrasound exam, a medical provider can help date your pregnancy and determine its location and viability, all factors necessary to ensure your safety if you do choose abortion. If your pregnancy is not located in the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) or if the pregnancy is not viable, abortion may not be an option for you and further medical attention may be required.
At Empower Life Center, we’re here to help answer your questions to make your health and safety a priority. Be sure you have the information you need to make a confident decision.
We are here to help you navigate your next steps. Our center offers free pregnancy testing and ultrasound appointments, at no cost to you – schedule your confidential appointment today.