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What is a medical abortion?

Navigating an unexpected pregnancy can be complex, especially if you’re unsure of your options. One option is abortion, which is a major medical decision with significant consequences. 

Medical abortion is used to terminate a viable early pregnancy. We’ll outline what you need to know about the procedure below, including side effects and possible risks.

Does a Medical Abortion Hurt?

Medical abortion, or the “abortion pill,” uses two medications to terminate a pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, which is a hormone that sustains the pregnancy. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions and expels the pregnancy through the vagina. 

This form of abortion feels different for everyone, although every woman will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. The level of discomfort you feel will depend on your pain tolerance and whether there are any complications.

The chances of experiencing a complication  are low but may increase if your pregnancy is past 70 days (the FDA-approved limit for taking mifepristone). You may experience complications if you take an improper medication dosage or do not receive adequate follow-up care. 

Risks of medical abortion include:

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

What is an Incomplete Abortion?

Your chances of developing an incomplete abortion are low, but the risk is possible. An incomplete abortion occurs when some of the pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus following an abortion. This condition is very dangerous if left untreated. 

Treatment methods for an incomplete abortion include medication, forceps to remove the remaining tissue, or a surgical procedure called dilation and curettage. If you experience an incomplete abortion and receive prompt treatment, you have a good prognosis. However, leaving this condition untreated can lead to severe hemorrhaging or sepsis. 

Protect your health and review the risks of abortion before making a pregnancy decision. 

No Charge, Private Services

Sage Women’s Center is here to help you during an unexpected pregnancy. Our no-charge, private services include pregnancy options counseling so that you can get the information you need. 

We’re invested in your well-being. Contact us today to learn more.

You are capable of amazing things.