Top facts you need to know about medical abortion

Top facts you need to know about medical abortion

A medical abortion is a way to end an early pregnancy using prescribed medications. The complications are
very rareand this method is considered safe and effective for most people up to 70 days pregnantor about 9-10 weeks since their last period.

In 2020,
more than half of abortions in the US they were medical abortions. Six out of 10 abortions in the United States occur in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, and medical abortion is the most common method of terminating a pregnancy during that time.

  1. Medical abortion, medical abortion, and the abortion pill all mean the same thing: taking medication instead of having a surgical procedure to terminate a pregnancy.
  2. The method involves taking two types of drugs: mifepristone AND misoprostol — in combination, at home or in a health care facility.
  3. These drugs must be prescribed by a certified healthcare professional. You can get them from some healthcare providers and clinics (in person or via telehealth) or through mail order or online pharmacies. Be sure to research online pharmacies first to be sure they are safe sources for medications. We’ve included a resource below.
  4. Medical abortion is effective 99.6% weather. On the few occasions it fails, you may need surgery or further follow-up care.
  5. Complications are rare, but they can happen. These include:
    • Residual pregnancy tissue in your uterus
    • Blood clots in your uterus
    • Very profuse bleeding
    • Infection
    • An allergic reaction
  6. If any of these occur, you will need to contact your doctor for additional treatment.

  7. You may be in a comfortable place, such as your home, when taking your pills. The pills will cause bleeding and cramping. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other side effects. Plan to take 1 to 2 days off after a medical abortion.

woman talking to a pharmacist and illustration of a female patient talking to a doctor

While medical abortion is a safe and effective alternative to surgical abortion, it’s not right for everyone. It is important to discuss the method, including if you are a good candidate, with a healthcare professional, in person or via an online telehealth provider. For more information on accessing medical abortion, check out Plan C.

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