What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?


Taking a couple of pills may sound uncomplicated but it's important to know what you're getting into when making a significant medical decision. There are potential risks and side effects with any abortion method, and the risks of the abortion pill are vital for you to be aware of before making your next steps.

You deserve to have all the facts first. Make an informed, empowered decision by gathering all the information you need.

What Is the Abortion Pill?

Medication abortion, also known as the abortion pill, is a two-dose process of medications. The FDA approves it for the termination of early pregnancies up to 10 weeks.

Mifepristone, the first dose, blocks the production of progesterone, a pregnancy hormone. When this hormone is no longer present, the pregnancy stops progressing. This dose is typically taken under the supervision of a physician or provider.

Then, the second dose, misoprostol, is taken several hours or sometimes up to a day later. This medication causes the uterus to cramp, expelling the pregnancy from the uterus through the vagina. This process involves a fair amount of bleeding and contractions.

What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

As with any serious medical undertaking, the abortion pill process comes with certain potential physical risks. It is essential to be aware of these risks, particularly if they could be exacerbated or put you at further risk due to your unique medical needs.

Mifepristone Risks

The Mayo Clinic shares the following as potential physical risks of the abortion pill regimen using the drug mifepristone:

  • Excessive vaginal bleeding: Contact your doctor if the bleeding lasts longer than expected (soaking through two thick, full-sized sanitary pads per hour for more than two hours).
  • Symptoms of severe infection: A fever equal to or above 100.4 degrees, severe stomach pain, pelvic tenderness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormally fast heartbeat.
  • Adrenal gland problems: If you experience a darkening of the skin, lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting, mental depression, or unusual tiredness or weakness, check in with your doctor.
  • Changes in heart rhythms: Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats can be a sign of a deeper problem, and you should call your doctor about any of these changes.
Septic Shock

In some cases, abortion can put you at an increased risk of septic shock. The National Institute of Health (NIH) urges patients that experience any of the following symptoms to seek immediate emergency medical care:

  • Very high or very low body temperature
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Cool, pale arms and legs
  • Feelings of confusion, restlessness, or fatigue
  • Shaking chills
  • Low blood pressure, especially when standing
  • Inability to urinate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Difficult, rapid breathing with shortness of breath
Incomplete Abortion

As the abortion pill process is only approved by the FDA for the termination of early pregnancies up to 10 weeks, taking it past this point in pregnancy can put you at significant risk, particularly the risk of incomplete abortion.

Signs of incomplete abortion may include extreme bleeding (more than one pad an hour), fever, or pelvic pain, according to NIH. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding for two consecutive hours, seek immediate medical care.

Before You Take the Abortion Pill

Medication may seem simple and uncomplicated, but taking it before you know how it will affect your health could be dangerous. Ensuring key details about your unique medical needs before making your next steps could be vital to your well-being.

First, confirming your pregnancy with a lab-quality pregnancy test is wise. At-home tests can give inaccurate results, particularly if taken too early.

Next, an ultrasound exam can help provide key details on your pregnancy, including:

  1. Verifying that you're pregnant with a viable (progressing) pregnancy. Sometimes a pregnancy test comes back positive, but an early miscarriage occurs.
  2. Confirming the location of the pregnancy. Viable pregnancies implant in the uterus, and ectopic pregnancies – which are non-viable – occur outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can pose serious health risks and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
  3. Reveal the gestational age of the pregnancy, which can highlight what options are available to you. Only women in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy are eligible for the abortion pill, and taking it too late in pregnancy can cause complications or put you at increased risk.

At Choices Options for Women's Health, we offer pregnancy confirmation and ultrasounds free to you, and we're here to help you navigate your pregnancy decision with comprehensive information on your options. The choice is yours, but we can help.

Get your questions answered today – schedule your free appointment. 

What Are the Risks of Ordering the Abortion Pill O...
How to Recover Emotionally After an Abortion


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, 25 September 2023

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://choicesoptionsforwomen.com/