Unwanted not planned pregnancies need solutions. Some women choose surgical abortion and many women prefer medical abortion provided by very special abortion pills. In general, medical abortion is an abortion caused by medicine. In different countries certain medications are used for provoking safe abortion (mifepristone, RU-486, methotrexate and misoprostol).
Medical abortion can be used only for women who are less than 7 weeks pregnant from the first day of their last period or 5 weeks from the date of conception. Exact duration of pregnancy can be checked by ultrasound analysis.
Some women confuse emergency contraception (Plan B, morning after pills) with abortion pill. The two are very different. Emergency contraception can be used during 72 hours after unprotected sexual contact (for pregnancy prevention) and abortion pills can be used during confirmed early pregnancy (for pregnancy termination).
Medical abortion effectiveness is pretty high (about 95-96%). Only 1% women experience complications such as serious infections or serious bleeding. The earlier in your pregnancy, the more likely it is to be successful with unwanted pregnancy termination. In rare cases abortion pills can be not effective. If you are still pregnant, you would need surgical abortion because medical abortion pills would have affected the development of the fetus.
How abortion pills work
In general, medical abortion should be managed by qualified medical health providers. They will provide first abortion pill (mifepristone) at the clinic. Mifepristone is synthetic steroid – it is anti-progestin that blocks the action of progesterone (important hormone necessary for pregnancy development) and stops pregnancy. By blocking progesterone actions, mifepristone damage embryo development, alters uterine internal lining (endometrium), triggering uterine lining shedding and induces uterine bleeding. At the same time, mifepristone causes the cervix to soften and initiates uterine contractions.
Usually mifepristone should be used in conjunction with misoprostol (analog of prostaglandin E1). Misoprostol should be used after 24-48 hours (after taken first pill) at home. By interacting with prostaglandin receptors, misoprostol causes the cervix to soften and the uterus to contract, resulting in the expulsion of the uterine contents. Usually women experience cramping and bleeding (similar to early miscarriage). In bleeding materials some remains of pregnancy can be visible. Majority of women will complete the expulsion (abortion) within few days. This is how medical abortion happens.
During medical abortion women could have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, fatigue and kind of lactation from nipples. In most cases uterine bleeding looks like intensive menstrual period or like early miscarriage.
After medical abortion women should return to clinic for follow up (to make sure that medical abortion was complete). The follow up visit usually scheduled 1-3 weeks after initiating the abortion process (after medical abortion). Commonly doctors provide pelvic exam and ultrasound analysis.
In rare cases of not complete abortion, doctor can provide additional doses of medication.
Effective and safe for very early unwanted pregnancies;
Abortion process (uterine bleeding) happens at home in comfortable and private environment;
Can be provided without any anesthesia;
Implemented without any surgical traumatic instruments or vacuum aspirators.
Abortion pills disadvantages
Medical abortion is not completely predictable (could happen during few days depending on doses and women health status);
Uterine bleeding can be heavy and last longer than expected;
Cramping can be strong and last longer than expected;
Medical abortion requires 2-3 visits to doctor;
About 1-1.5% women could experience failure (not interrupted pregnancy).
Medical abortion risks
Heavy uterine bleeding,
Secondary vaginal infections,
Fertility after abortion pills
Future fertility is very important for women in their reproductive period of life. Several studies confirm that abortion pills leave body during 7-10 days and they don’t affect future reproductive functions and general health.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.