Medical abortion. Chemical abortion. Plan B. The abortion pill. Confused about the various abortion options? Let’s break it down. In this blog we will talk about chemical abortions, Plan B, and the abortion pill. Our next blog will look at medical abortions.
Plan B, also known as the Morning-After Pill is a form of emergency contraception. It is one pill which is taken after unprotected sex and is available at your pharmacy. There are several ways it can work. Plan B may delay or prevent you from ovulating. It may stop sperm from fertilizing an egg. And it may prevent an already fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus. Plan B does not work if you are already pregnant. The cost for Plan B is between $35 and $60. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, changes in your period, headaches, dizziness, pain in your abdomen, cramping, and tenderness in your breasts.
The abortion pill, RU-486, is the same as a chemical abortion. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use up to 70 days after your last period. On the first visit to the abortion clinic, the woman is given Mifeprex to block progesterone and cause the death of the embryo. One to two days later, Misoprostol is given to cause the uterus to expel the embryo. Bleeding and cramping occur with this process, usually away from the clinic. Large blood clots or tissue may be passed with the bleeding. The woman returns to the abortion clinic to make sure the abortion is complete, about 1-2 weeks later.
Risks of chemical or medication abortion include heavy bleeding; pain/cramping; undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy; infection; failed abortion; and fetal malformations.
Bleeding typically lasts for 9-16 days after taking the drug. About 1% of women will need surgery to stop excessive bleeding.
The abortion pill does not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. Confirming a viable uterine pregnancy before having this procedure is suggested. Your First Look Women’s Center can do an ultrasound to confirm you have a viable uterine pregnancy.
The failure rate for this procedure is between 3-8% at seven weeks LMP (from your last period). When used beyond seven weeks, the failure rate increases. A surgical abortion is typically done to complete a failed medication abortion.
Costs for a chemical abortion currently range from between $425 to $800.
If you change your mind about the abortion after taking just the first pill (mifespristone), you can try to continue your pregnancy. You should seek the help of an obstetrician or call the abortion pill reversal hotline at 877.558.0333. You can also visit their website, abortionpillreversal.com.
Since 31 percent of early pregnancies naturally miscarry, it is a good idea to confirm viability of a pregnancy before scheduling an abortion. Your First Look Women’s Center offers free pre-testing services, including a lab-quality pregnancy test and an obstetrical ultrasound done by a qualified sonographer. We also offer STD testing and confidential options counseling.