Abortion Services ~ Medication
Medication abortion is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy - up to 49 days (7 weeks) from the last normal menstrual period - using a combination of drugs.
At Preterm we use the drug Mifeprex™ (also known as RU-486 or mifepristone) in combination with misoprostol (also called cytotec). Mifeprex™ causes changes in the lining of the uterus. Misoprostol then causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy.
How It Works
During your first appointment, you'll have lab tests, a medical history review, and an ultrasound. You'll also meet with a patient advocate and a physician. During your second appointment, our doctor will give you an oral dose of Mifeprex™. You'll return two days later to take an oral dose of misoprostol. We strongly recommend that you bring someone to drive you home after this visit.
Once you take the misoprostol you may experience cramping in as little as 20 minutes. Within about 1 to 4 hours your uterus will begin to contract. You'll have cramping and bleeding, and the pregnancy will be expelled. Most women pass the pregnancy in 24 hours, but it could take up to 48 hours.
Two weeks later, you will return for an important follow-up visit to determine whether the abortion has been completed. You will have a trans-vaginal ultrasound (during which a probe, called a transducer, is inserted into the vagina) and possibly a physical examination or a blood test. If the abortion is not complete, we'll talk to you about your options, which could include a surgical procedure to end your pregnancy. If this is the case, Preterm will perform a surgical abortion at no additional charge.
Symptoms & Side Effects
Most women will experience cramping and bleeding similar to a normal heavy period. You may see blood clots and tissue that come from the uterus. This is an expected part of ending the pregnancy.
Bleeding or spotting lasts an average of 9 to 16 days and may last for up to 30 days. In rare cases (1 woman in 100), bleeding can be very heavy and may need to be stopped by a surgical procedure.
Common side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Please see Choosing the Best Method for You for a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of surgical and medication abortion.