We know how overwhelming it can be to make decisions about your pregnancy. No matter your circumstances, you are not alone and have a support team in PRC Grand Rapids that will help you to feel confident and empowered in whatever decision you choose.
The abortion pill is a pregnancy alternative option that is becoming more and more accessible as an option for terminating pregnancy. We’ve put together some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from women about the abortion pill to help you understand this option a bit more.
What is the abortion pill and how does it work?
The abortion pill (which you may also hear referred to as “medical abortion” or “medication abortion”), is actually not a single pill as the name suggests. It consists of two different medications which are taken separately in sequence to terminate a pregnancy. The first medication is used to block progesterone, which is the hormone that is necessary in order for a healthy pregnancy in its early stages to grow. The second medication is then taken to induce early labor, leading to contractions, cramping and bleeding. The embryo and pregnancy tissues typically begin emptying from the uterus a few hours after the second pill is taken.
The entire process generally takes about two weeks to complete, although the duration may vary depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. It is often recommended to have a follow-up appointment or ultrasound to ensure that all the pregnancy tissue has been expelled.
The abortion pill is different from emergency contraception pills, such as “the morning-after pill”, which are used immediately after intercourse with the intent to prevent a potential pregnancy from happening. The abortion pill is used to terminate a pregnancy that has already been confirmed.
When can I take the abortion pill?
The abortion pill procedure is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use within the first 10 weeks after the start of your last menstrual period (LMP). If a pregnancy is past 10 weeks a surgical abortion is recommended.
Is the abortion pill safe?
It is not safe to take the abortion pill until you have ruled out an ectopic pregnancy, which is why a free ultrasound at our center is a great first step for you as you make your decision. Although serious complications from the abortion pill are rare, there are potential risks and side effects. Many physicians advise against taking the abortion pill at home without having on-site medical supervision.
What are the side effects of the abortion pill?
The abortion pill may cause side effects similar to a miscarriage and can last up to two weeks. Some of the more common side effects include:
- Cramping and heavy bleeding with large clots
- Spotting that can last for several days or weeks after taking the medication
- Upset stomach (including nausea and/or diarrhea)
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Fever or chills (you’ll want to call your doctor right away if you experience a fever, as it could be a sign of infection)
Other risks associated with the abortion pill include:
- The pill’s failure to work, resulting in the need for surgical removal
- Blood clots in the uterus
- Infection and sepsis
- The presence of pregnancy tissues in the uterus after the procedure
- Excessive or prolonged bleeding
- Allergic reactions to the medications
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after taking the abortion pill or have concerns about other symptoms, it is important to contact your healthcare provider, or visit the emergency room depending on the severity of symptoms.
Can I order the abortion pill online?
Through the use of telehealth appointments, some abortion clinics or medical providers may be able to have the abortion pill sent to your home through the mail, or sent to be picked up at a local pharmacy. The ability to use this option varies by state. While you may be able to have the pill sent to your home, you will still need to consult with a doctor or other medical professional who is licensed to prescribe the medication.
If you are planning on trying to order the abortion pill online, you should receive pregnancy testing for pregnancy verification, as well as an ultrasound. An ultrasound is needed to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy and to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
PRC GR provides pregnancy testing and ultrasound services for free and can walk you through your pregnancy options based on how far along you are.
Do I have to have my parent’s permission to get the abortion pill if I’m under 18?
Many states that allow abortions do require written consent from at least one parent or legal guardian.
However, if you’re a teenager and need help with an unplanned pregnancy, PRC GR offers completely confidential and free support. You don’t need to inform your parents to receive pregnancy options counseling or resources through PRC GR.
How much does the abortion pill cost?
The cost of the abortion pill can vary based on your location, the medical facility where you buy it, and whether or not you have health insurance coverage. Typically, the price for the abortion pill falls within the range of $350 to $700 or more.
Can I get pregnant again after taking the abortion pill?
According to the Mayo Clinic, an elective medical abortion doesn’t appear to increase the risk of future pregnancy complications, as long as it’s done under the guidance of your health care team.
Can the abortion pill be reversed?
Women who begin the process may find that they experience feelings of regret or anxiety. Fortunately, there may be a chance to reverse the abortion pill if action is taken soon after the first dose. One possible solution is using a progesterone treatment, which is commonly used to prevent miscarriages. If you have recently taken the abortion pill and need more information about reversal, please reach out to PRC Grand Rapids right away to determine if this option is available to you.
Considering the Abortion Pill?
At PRC GR, we are here to offer facts about your options. If you are considering this route of abortion, schedule an appointment with us today to discuss more information regarding the abortion pill. You can schedule your appointment here or call us at (616) 456-6873. Our center also provides pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and, in certain cases, STI testing at no cost. Please reach out today to take advantage of all that our center has to offer.