The abortion pill sounds like an easy, singulair drug used to end a pregnancy. In reality, the abortion pill is a little more complex and isn’t as simple as popping a pill and moving on with your life.
Keep reading to learn more about the abortion pill, how it works, and how it might affect you.
What is the Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill is actually composed of two different drugs: Mifepristone and misoprostol. They work together to end a pregnancy.
Mifepristone is taken first and blocks progesterone, a hormone vital to the growing embryo. Once cut off, the lack of progesterone causes fetal demise.
Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours after mifepristone and causes uterine cramping and contractions to expel the pregnancy remains.
Am I Eligible for the Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill is only FDA-approved through the first nine weeks of pregnancy. If you are farther along in the pregnancy, you are not eligible for the abortion pill.
In addition to the timing issue, there are other physical and mental factors to consider before deciding to take the abortion pill.
The Mayo Clinic provides a long list of medications that should not be “mixed” with the medications in the abortion pill regimen. In other words, you should not take the abortion pill if you are currently on any of the listed medications.
The Mayo Clinic advises that the abortion pill is not for you if you:
- Are too far along in your pregnancy. You shouldn’t attempt a medical abortion if you’ve been pregnant for more than nine weeks (after the start of your last period). Some types of medical abortion aren’t available after seven weeks of pregnancy.
- Have an intrauterine device (IUD) currently in place.
- Have a suspected pregnancy outside of the uterus. This is called ectopic pregnancy.
- Have certain medical conditions. These include bleeding disorders; certain heart or blood vessel diseases; severe liver, kidney or lung disease; or an uncontrolled seizure disorder.
- Take a blood thinner or certain steroid medicines.
- Can’t make follow-up visits to your provider or don’t have access to emergency care.
- Have an allergy to the medicine used.
These warnings are in place for your health and safety, which should always be your top priority when considering any kind of medication or surgical procedure.
Mental & Emotional Factors
Many studies have been conducted that demonstrate a link between abortion and negative mental health outcomes.
While some conclusions differ on how extreme these outcomes can be, “both sides agree that (a) abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.”
In 2018, the British Journal of Psychiatry published a meta-analysis of 22 studies related to the mental health of women who have abortions. It found that “women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems.”
Some of these mental health issues included:
- Alcohol use
- Marijuana use
- All suicidal behaviors
Before choosing something as serious as abortion, it’s important to consider how it may affect you mentally. This is especially true if you struggle with mental health currently.
What Should I Do Before Taking the Abortion Pill?
Like with any medical procedure or new medication, it’s important to take the proper steps to protect your health and safety before beginning the procedure or medication.
Before you take the abortion pill, you need to know exactly how far along you are. The only way to really know that is by getting an ultrasound exam.
We offer free ultrasounds at our center so you don’t have to wonder. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.