Information on Medical Abortion with RU486 (Mifeprex)
(up to 8 weeks LMP) | REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE
What is a medical abortion?
Medical abortion is a method for ending a woman's pregnancy without surgery. In the United States, the conventional, more common method for performing an abortion is a surgical procedure called a Dilation and Evacuation or D&E. A surgical abortion is simple and quick and is effective in over 99% of cases. In a very small percentage of surgical abortions, however, certain risks and complications can occur, some of which are related to the surgical procedure. With medical abortion, however, there is no surgery. Medications are administered to a pregnant woman and these medications cause her body to abort the pregnancy, very much like a miscarriage. In approximately 2% of medical abortions, the medications do not work and the woman must undergo a surgical abortion anyway. But for 98% of the women choosing medical abortion, the process is successful and no surgery is necessary. Although both medical and surgical abortions are considered safe, risks exist for both. The counselor will review the risks and benefits of both in order to assist you in your choice.
Do I qualify for a medical abortion?
In order to have a medical abortion, you must be less than 8 weeks from the first day of your last normal period, or less than 6 weeks from the time of conception. Our physician will do an ultrasound to confirm that you are early enough into the pregnancy to have a medical abortion. The medical staff will also review your medical history to be sure you medically qualify. It is important that you live within a reasonable drive from the clinic (less than 2 hours by car), that you have access to easy, available transportation, and that you have a telephone available that you can use to contact the clinic and that the clinic staff can contact you if necessary. Because you will most likely abort the pregnancy at home, you will want to consider your home situation when deciding whether to choose medical abortion.
What medications are used?
The "abortion pill," has been used for several years in Europe and Asia for induction of medical abortions, and has recently been approved in the U.S. for use in medical abortions. It works by blocking the action of progesterone, a hormone needed to maintain pregnancy.
is a drug commonly used to protect the stomachs of people who need to take daily doses of anti-inflammatories. It is given 48 hours after the RU486 pill. The Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the embryo. In cases where very little or no bleeding occurs after the Misoprostol tablets, it is common for a physician to give a second dose of Misoprostol to a patient.
How is a medical abortion done?
After the medical staff confirm through lab work, medical history, exam and ultrasound that you are eligible for a medical abortion, you will meet with a trained counselor who will review the procedure for both medical and surgical abortion, the risks and benefits of both, and your instructions. The actual procedure for the medical abortion will proceed as follows:
RU486 and Misoprostol
You will receive the RU486 pill.
You will take the Misoprostol tablets. The Misoprostol usually produce cramping in about 2 to 4 hour and vaginal bleeding within 1/2 to 10 hours after cramping begins. In most cases pregnancy will pass within 24 hours of when bleeding begins.
Day 10 thru 14
A follow-up visit at the office is necessary to determine that the abortion is complete. This visit will include a pelvic exam, an ultrasound, and possibly a blood test to check the level of pregnancy hormone in your blood. If this visit shows that the abortion has not been complete, additional Misoprostol tablets or surgical abortion will be indicated. If either of these steps is taken, one or two additional visits to the office may be required for follow-up.
How do I choose between a Surgical and Medical Abortion?
The physician and staff of the South Jersey Women's Center are here
to answer your questions. Please feel free to discuss with them
any questions or concerns you have in deciding whether to choose
a medical abortion or a surgical abortion.