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Do I Need a Prescription for the Abortion Pill?

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you may be looking into the abortion pill. There's a lot of confusion about this pill, and many people don't understand what it is or how it works.
Do I Need a Prescription for the Abortion Pill?

Whether you're considering a medical abortion or surgical abortion, abortion is still a serious medical procedure, and you deserve the facts. Let's look at some of those facts to understand why a prescription is needed for the abortion pill.

What is the abortion pill?

The "abortion pill" is actually two pills taken to end a pregnancy.

The first, mifepristone, is taken at the abortion clinic and blocks your body's natural production of progesterone. This causes fetal demise; in other words, the fetus will stop growing.

The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later at home. This pill causes contractions so your body expels the contents of the uterus.

Potential side effects of the abortion pill

A prescription is needed for this medication because it contains powerful drugs that can cause some pretty serious side effects. If anything goes wrong, it is important to be under the care of a doctor so you can go back and receive needed treatment.

Some common side effects of the abortion pill are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood clots
  • Fever
  • Incomplete abortion

These side effects should not last more than two weeks, and if they do, you'll need to see your doctor immediately for medical attention and help.

Can I get a prescription for the abortion pill online?

While more websites are cropping up offering to ship the abortion pill straight to your house, you should be wary of these and not order the abortion pill online. There are a few reasons for this:

Ordering the abortion pill online violates FDA regulations

The FDA sets regulations for all approved drugs in the United States to ensure they are prescribed correctly and administered safely.

Because the abortion pill is so powerful, the FDA requires a physician or certified health professional to prescribe the pill in person after verification of pregnancy. Ordering online skips the prescription process, putting your health at risk.

Taking the abortion pill ordered online can damage your health

There's no way to verify where the abortion pill is coming from. Or if it is being sent to you with the correct dosages.

If the pill is coming from another country, the purity of the drugs may be compromised. If the dosages are off, the pill may be ineffective, meaning you'd need to either retake it or have a surgical abortion.

The abortion pill has to be taken within a specific timeframe

The abortion pill is only approved for use within the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After that, it is ineffective and dangerous to try to end a pregnancy with the abortion pill.

If the pill arrives late or you aren't exactly sure how far along in your pregnancy you are, taking the abortion pill without a prescription can be very risky.

What should I do before I get a prescription for the abortion pill?

To get a prescription for an abortion pill, you need to confirm that you're pregnant, know how far along you are, and understand if the pregnancy is viable.

To determine these things, you need a pregnancy test and ultrasound, both of which are offered at no cost at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic.

Pregnancy Test

It's possible to experience common pregnancy symptoms like a late or missed period, tender breasts, and extreme mood swings without actually being pregnant.

The first step in knowing for certain is to take a pregnancy test.


After taking a positive pregnancy test, the second step is to have an ultrasound to determine the dating and viability of the pregnancy. 

Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to capture images of the inside of your uterus. Using those images, the nurse can determine the gestational age, which will tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. 

If the ultrasound shows an empty uterus, that can be an indication you have an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are non-viable and pose serious health risks if not removed immediately.

The abortion pill is a serious medication that requires a prescription, according to the FDA2.  Before you can get a prescription for the abortion pill, you should have an ultrasound to answer these essential questions about your pregnancy. We offer both for free and can provide information on all your options regarding your unplanned pregnancy.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!


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