Medical abortion is the termination of pregnancy with the help of medicines that have been approved by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration). Medical abortion is the preferred kind of abortion during the first few weeks of pregnancy, which is around eight week since the last menstrual period. The medications that are used for medical abortion are quite different from the “morning after” emergency contraceptive pills, so make sure that you consult your Gynecologist or a good clinic who can guide you well regarding the intake of these medications.
What are the medications used for medical abortion?
There are two commonly used medications that are used for medical abortion, namely Mifepristone and Misoprostol. These medications when combined provide with a proper medical termination of pregnancy which is highly effective.
How do Mifepristone and Misoprostol work?
Mifepristone is the first pill you would have to take orally when you visit an abortion clinic for medical abortion. Mifepristone help in blocking the hormone progesterone which helps in maintaining the pregnancy. With the hormone blocked the embedded uterine wall begins shedding, which will result in bleeding. Then the second medicine, Misoprostol is taken 24-72 hours later, which helps in having contractions till the pregnancy is expelled with in 8 hours.
What to expect after taking Mifepristone and Misoprostol?
After an ultra sound is performed to confirm your pregnancy and to know the exact number of weeks you are pregnant, and if you have decided that you want to undergo an abortion you would be given an option regarding what type of termination of pregnancy you prefer. If your pregnancy is 8 weeks and lesser, medical termination of pregnancy is the best.
At the abortion clinic, your Gynecologist would explain how taking of these medications would help in terminating your pregnancy. The doctor would ask you to take Mifepristone at the clinic, and you might begin to bleed. You would be asked to take the second tablet, Misoprostol within 24-72 hours after taking Mifepristone which will make you uncomfortable, as you might experience cramping, clotting and bleeding too. The cramping and bleeding patterns differ from woman to woman, and passing of large clots is a sign that the embryo has passed too.
You would be asked to visit the clinic for a review after two weeks to make sure that the medications have effectively terminated your pregnancy. Although most women have no problems with medical abortion, there might be a lesser percentage of women who need aspiration abortion to completely clear the process of medical abortion.
What are the side effects after using Mifepristone and Misoprostol?
Mifepristone generally has no side effects, but with Misoprostol you may experience heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, heavy cramping and severe headaches. There are no long term risks involved with the use of both Mifepristone and Misoprostol and women would face no fertility problems in the future.
Other medicines used for medical abortion
There are other medicines that are generally used for medical abortion along with the general medications used for abortion, but it is best to get more information from practitioners before using these. Oxytocin, Carboprost, Dinoprostone is some of the drugs used in combination with Mifepristone and Misoprostol.