All medical procedures have risks, including abortion. When considering the abortion pill, there are some things to consider to help you protect your health and safety.
Get All the Facts
Before having an abortion, the Mayo Clinic recommends that a woman have a physical exam by a medical provider and an ultrasound. An ultrasound can determine if a woman is eligible for the abortion pill by providing the following information:
- Pregnancy Viability: 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. A pregnancy that has already expired might not need treatment, or it might need a different treatment.
- Pregnancy length: the abortion pill is only approved for pregnancies under 10 weeks.
- Pregnancy location: when a pregnancy grows outside the uterus it is called an ectopic pregnancy and it is a dangerous condition for the woman. The abortion pill cannot treat an ectopic pregnancy, so another procedure would be necessary.
Know the Risks
The risks of an abortion can vary, but can include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Getting the Abortion Pill Online
The FDA cautions women against obtaining the abortion pill online. The FDA places regulations on medications for the protection of consumers, but they are unable to regulate medication that is purchased online. Unregulated medication can be ineffective or even unsafe. Medication purchased online is a safety risk because a woman cannot be sure of the origin.
When the abortion pill is prescribed online, in-person medical supervision is missing, which can be dangerous for the woman. When receiving abortion pills through a telehealth provider, it is possible that a woman is not receiving the care required to keep her safe. Missing an ultrasound exam could cause an ectopic pregnancy to be overlooked.
Online providers are limited in the care they can provide. Relying solely on online care does not allow women to receive the following in-person services that are important prior to a pregnancy decision:
- Physical exam for vital information like heart rate, blood pressure, signs of infection
- Pregnancy confirmation
- Ultrasound for the location of the pregnancy
Protect Your Health
Mosaic Sexual Health Clinic offers free appointments where you can get more information and obtain the needed pregnancy confirmation test and ultrasound free of charge. At our Center, our ultrasounds are limited, meaning that they can confirm that the pregnancy is located in the uterus and that the pregnancy is progressing, indicated by fetal heartbeat. Both of these factors are important prior to an abortion procedure. Further examination can be performed by an OB’s office. Though we do not perform or refer for abortions at Mosaic, our Center serves as a step one for women to be informed prior to a decision. Contact us today to set up your appointment.