Open Arms Blog

What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

Between parenting, adoption, and abortion, the decision can be challenging. There are several factors that should be considered. 
What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

It's important to take the time you need to gather all of the information available before making such an impactful choice for your life.   If you found this blog, you likely have questions about the abortion pill.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill, also known as a medication abortion, is a chemical process of ending a pregnancy. The abortion "pill" is actually two separate pills and can typically be taken within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

The drug Mifepristone is administered first to stop the body's production of the hormone progesterone, which provides the pregnancy the nutrients it needs to grow.

Next, Misoprostol, the second pill, is taken to begin contractions and force the pregnancy from the womb.

What will completing the abortion be like?

The two pills are taken between 24-48 hours apart and the abortion is typically completed at home. The process of expelling a pregnancy by abortion is similar to that of a miscarriage.

One should expect to experience intense cramping, heavy bleeding, and the passing of large blood clots that contain the pregnancy tissue. These blood clots can be as large as a golf ball.

What are the side effects of the abortion pill?

Women who choose to undergo a medication abortion may experience some or all of the following physical side effects:

  • Cramping and abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

What are the long-term risks associated with the abortion pill? 

Before deciding to have an abortion, you should take time to educate yourself on the various long-term risks some women have experienced.

Although rare, some of these potential long-term or serious risks include the following:

  • Life-threatening infections and hemorrhaging caused by an incomplete abortion
  • Trauma from the abortion experience, which can trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety1
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) caused by abortion and untreated Chlamydia2
  • Future fertility issues related to abortion complications3

What should I do before scheduling an abortion?

Before scheduling an appointment for an abortion, it is important to confirm a viable pregnancy and to understand how far along the pregnancy is.

Here at Open Arms, we provide no-cost pregnancy confirmation and information regarding all of your options.

If a viable pregnancy is confirmed, our caring medical staff will walk you through the options available to you and help you navigate this important decision.  You're not alone.  We are here to help.

  1. Broen AN, Moum T, Bødtker AS, Ekeberg O. The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, fiveyear follow-up study. BMC Med. 2005;3:18.

  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). "Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). "Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion." Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). "The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

  3. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).


Photo by Annika Palmari on Unsplash

 

 

 

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