How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

Abortion Pill vs Plan B

In 2021, there were about 930,160 abortions in the United States.

If you’re someone who is considering abortion options, you have probably heard about the abortion pill. The medical name for this pill is RU-486 and it is a type of abortion.

But what is it, and what can you expect after you use it? Keep reading to discover how the abortion pill works, including side effects, risks, and complications.

What Is the Abortion Pill?

A medical abortion is often referred to as the “abortion pill.” It is the most common abortion method in the United States and is seen as an alternative to a surgical abortion. A medical abortion can only be done in the very early weeks of pregnancy, typically up to nine weeks.

How Does It Work?

The abortion pill isn’t actually one pill – it’s a combination of two medications – misoprostol and mifepristone.

Generally, a doctor prescribes both of the pills at one time. The first pill, mifepristone, blocks the body’s progesterone hormone. Pregnancies need this hormone to continue normally, and when you’re not producing it, the fetus will stop growing.

Then the patient takes the second pill, misoprostol. This medicine causes bleeding and cramping so that the pregnancy is expelled from the uterus.

The effects of this pill feel similar to a heavy period with a lot of cramps, or a miscarriage. The woman generally experiences this early miscarriage at home and often passes the pregnancy tissue into the toilet.

Some doctors may also provide antibiotics to take with these medications to prevent any infections from occurring.

What Are the Side Effects?

For most people, taking these pills will feel like an early miscarriage. Symptoms of an early miscarriage include heavy bleeding, the passing of large blood clots, and severe cramping which may also cause vomiting or an upset stomach.

Other symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, diarrhea, or a fever.

If you’ve taken the abortion pill, talk with your doctor before you take any extra medication to relieve your symptoms, as some medications like aspirin can make bleeding worse.

Can the Abortion Pill Be Reversed?

Yes! If a woman takes the first abortion pill, mifepristone, and changes her mind about the abortion, she can reverse the process.

A doctor will prescribe a high dose of progesterone to the woman; this progesterone can undo the effects of the first abortion pill if the progesterone is taken within 24 hours of the first abortion pill. If a woman has already taken the second abortion pill, misoprostol, the abortion pill cannot be reversed.

Studies show that abortion pill reversal does not result in a risk of birth defects. This means that you can undo your first abortion pill with no risk to the fetus.

Can I Get the Abortion Pill at WRMCSN?

No. Women’s Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada does not provide abortions or refer for abortion services. This means you cannot get the abortion pill at WRMCSN.

WRMCSN does offer free pregnancy testing, STI screening, ultrasounds, parenthood classes, counseling, baby supplies, and prenatal care. Click here to make an appointment to see how we can help you at no cost if you are unexpectedly pregnant. All services are free and confidential.

If you are seeking to reverse the abortion pill, WRMCSN does provide abortion pill reversal medications upon request. Because the reversal medications must be administered within 24 hours of the first dose of the abortion pill, please call us right away at 702-919-4132 to schedule an appointment if you’re seeking to reverse the abortion pill.