When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, you might be considering abortion. If you’re considering an abortion, you typically have two options- a medical abortion or a surgical abortion.
You may hear a medical abortion referred to as the abortion pill, chemical abortion, or a medication abortion. Some may call the pills mifeprex, mifepristone, misoprostol, or its previous name, RU-486.
What should I do before deciding whether to have a medical abortion?
Before you make your choice, consider all your options, with their risks and benefits. At Alternatives Medical Clinic, we provide a friendly, nonjudgmental environment where you can safely and confidentially discuss your possible choices. While we do not perform or refer for abortion, we offer free pregnancy testing and medical education by licensed medical professionals. Before choosing an abortion, we can provide a free limited obstetric ultrasound to help you determine how far along you are, whether the pregnancy is inside of your uterus, and whether the pregnancy is viable. We hope to empower you to make a confident decision. Call us today at 760-741-9796 to make an appointment and to take a step toward making the right decision for you.
What exactly is involved in a medical abortion?
A medical abortion involves two steps and medications. For the first step, a synthetic steroid, called mifeprex or mifepristone, is taken by mouth. The medication blocks the production of progesterone and within 24 hours the pregnancy will stop progressing. The second step occurs a day or two later, when a woman takes misoprostol. The medication causes the pregnancy to be expelled, as the uterus cramps and the woman begins bleeding. Typically, the bleeding is heavier than a period and many women report that it feels like a miscarriage. It takes anywhere from 24 hours to five days for the uterus to completely dispel the pregnancy.
What are possible side effects or complications of a medical abortion?
Women typically experience painful cramping and bleeding, with possible side effects of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fever, or chills. In most cases, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to alleviate some of the painful cramping, under the supervision of a doctor. A medical abortion also has some potential risks such as an infection (requiring antibiotics), severe or prolonged bleeding (requiring further medical intervention), or an incomplete abortion (sometimes requiring surgical interventions). Medical abortions will not treat an ectopic pregnancy (one growing outside the uterus). 
Why should I choose a medical abortion?
Some women feel as if they have more control over a medical abortion because they can take the pills at home. They can choose who will be present during the abortion and are also responsible for their own care as they monitor themselves for possible adverse effects.
Who shouldn’t I choose a medical abortion?
If it’s been longer than 70 days since your last period, you are likely not eligible for a medical abortion. If you have an IUD in place, it must be removed prior to choosing a medical abortion. You should also take extra caution if you’ve been diagnosed with an adrenal or blood coagulation disorder or are taking a corticosteroid or blood thinner. Other warnings are listed on the FDA website. 
Call us today at 760-741-9796 to make an appointment and to take a step toward making the right decision for you.