Women facing an unexpected pregnancy sometimes turn to the abortion pill to terminate their pregnancy. However, before choosing the abortion pill, a woman should learn about the procedure, including the risks and recovery. 

What Is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill, also called “medication abortion,” is a two-drug system used to terminate a pregnancy. The first drug in the process, mifepristone, is usually given at the provider’s location. It blocks the hormone progesterone that the pregnancy depends on for support. Without it, the embryo or fetus detaches from the uterine wall. Within 48 hours, the second drug, misoprostol, is taken, usually at home. Misoprostol induces uterine contractions to squeeze the embryo or fetus out of the body.

The abortion pill is only FDA-approved for use in pregnancies under 10 weeks. 

Common side effects of the abortion pill can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

Like every medical procedure, the abortion pill carries risks. In addition to the common side effects of the abortion pill, a woman may experience the following:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the abortion pill doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Because women will experience their abortion and recover at home, they must be made aware of the symptoms of complications and be prepared to reach out for emergency medical care. Signs and symptoms of complications after an abortion include the following:

  • Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

In addition to physical side effects, women often experience emotional side effects from an abortion. Click here to learn more. 

Learn More About Your Options

For more information about your options, including the abortion pill, contact us for a free appointment. Let our knowledgeable staff walk you through your options so you can make an informed decision. Though we do not perform or refer for abortions at our Center, we are a first step for women to receive free pregnancy confirmation services and options information.