RU-486 (Otherwise known as the Abortion Pill) can terminate an embryo up to 10 weeks gestation. Considered a medical abortion (not surgical), the Abortion Pill (it’s actually 2 different pills) must be prescribed and it includes a three-step process:
- First, take Mifepristone. This medication actually blocks your body’s ability to recognize progesterone by the uterus. Progesterone is one of the hormones that your uterus needs to maintain the life of the embryo. By blocking progesterone, the lining of the uterus begins to break down. Then, the life of the growing embryo ends.
- Secondly, take Misoprostol. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract causing the embryo, lining of the uterus, and the embryonic sac to exit the uterus. This process usually takes 24-48 hours and causes extreme bleeding and strong uterine cramping. Tampons should not be used during the process; only use pads.
- Lastly, return to the clinic to confirm that the procedure is complete. Your doctor will ask you a variety of questions including but not limited to, “Were you able to see the expulsion of the gestational sac or embryo?” “How much bleeding did you experience?” “Do you think you are still experiencing pregnancy symptoms?”
This is very important because the Abortion Pill is not 100% effective and you may still be pregnant. If that is the case, then a surgical abortion is often the next step.
Your period should return within the next 2 months after the abortion process.
What you need to know:
The abortion pill is not taken in a hospital. It is taken at home. Since heavy bleeding and cramping accompany it, it is important that you have someone with you in case of an emergency. Other symptoms during the process can include:
- Mild fever and chills
- Light lactation
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting
Things to be aware of when taking RU-486:
- Do not take it if you are past the 10-week window. The chances for it working decrease after that point.
- You are using an IUD.
- You have a blood clotting condition and/or you are taking blood-clotting medication.
- Determine if you are willing to continue with a surgical abortion if the pill fails.
Please contact your doctor or go the ER if you are experiencing any of these symptoms after taking the abortion pill:
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge.
- Blood clots that occur for 2 hours or more.
- Excessive bleeding (filling up more than 2 pads in an our for 2 hours or more).
- Extreme depression and suicidal thoughts.
- A fever of 100.4 F° or higher.
If you change your mind after taking the first abortion pill to end your pregnancy, there is an abortion pill reversal that, if taken in a timely manner, can reverse the abortion.