If you prefer a non-surgical abortion method, you may want to consider the medication abortion, also known as the Abortion Pill. This method is offered until 9 weeks from your last menstrual period. If you decide to schedule for a medication abortion, you will come to the clinic for two visits. At the first visit, a doctor will confirm by ultrasound that you are within the 9 week limit. You would then be given an oral medication called Mifeprex. Mifeprex works by blocking the hormone progesterone, stopping the growth of the pregnancy. Side effects are rare with this pill, but it may cause vaginal spotting or bleeding, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, chills, fever, fatigue or dizziness. You will then be sent home with four pills called Misoprostol, which you will insert buccally 24-48 hours after taking the Mifeprex. This medication will cause uterine contractions that will cause you to expel the pregnancy at home. Side effects with this medication include heavy bleeding, clotting, and cramping. The Misoprostol may also cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, dizziness, as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea. A second visit to the clinic is required 2-3 weeks after your initial appointment to confirm that the abortion is complete. In about 5-8% of patients, the uterus will not empty completely or the pregnancy will continue to grow. These patients may need more Misoprostol or may need to have the surgical (aspiration) procedure.
Allegheny Reproductive Health Center will not offer the medication abortion to women past 63 days in pregnancy or to anyone under the age of 18. This method may also be contraindicated with certain medical conditions. When scheduling your appointment, our trained staff will ask you about your medical history and if necessary, will review with our doctor to make sure the medication abortion is safe for you. The medication abortion is a safe, common and effective procedure but it is not right for everyone. The medication abortion requires a bigger time commitment than the surgical abortion. You must be able to commit 24-48 hours for the procedure and return for at least one follow up visit at our clinic. Due to the medication’s side effects, this abortion method is not recommended for patients who are already experiencing nausea and vomiting with their pregnancy.