What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

woman thinking about the side effects of the abortion pill

The side effects of the abortion pill seem easy and harmless. It might seem as simple as taking an aspirin for a headache. However, the abortion pill method is not just one pill and it isn’t as harmless as you may think. 

Abortion, no matter what method is used, is a serious physical and emotional decision. Anytime you have a medical procedure there are risks and side effects. Before you make any decision, here is what you need to know:

Pre-abortion Testing

First, we recommend confirming your pregnancy at First Step Women’s Center. The abortion pill method is only available to women who are at 10 weeks or under in pregnancy. Do you know exactly when you got pregnant? If not, you need more information.

The Benefits of a Lab-Quality Pregnancy Test

Self-testing is not always a reliable way to determine if you’re actually pregnant. Many times the over-the-counter tests are taken too soon, or the directions aren’t followed carefully. We suggest you verify your test with one of our no-cost lab-quality pregnancy tests. They have a 99% accuracy rate. 

Have you Miscarried?

The Mayo Clinic says as many as 20% or more of known pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage. You can actually miscarry and still get a positive pregnancy test for a short time after. 

The only way to know if you’ve miscarried is with an ultrasound. An ultrasound can help determine if your pregnancy is viable by detecting a fetal heartbeat. If not, you’ve most likely had a miscarriage and there would be no need for the abortion pill. At First Step Women’s Center, we offer free limited OB ultrasounds.

How Far Along are You?

If you’re not sure when you actually got pregnant, an ultrasound can answer that question too. Since the abortion pill can only be used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, you need to confirm the dating of your pregnancy. By measuring the fetus, the sonographer will be able to determine how many weeks pregnant you are.

Taking the Abortion Pill

The abortion pill method isn’t just one pill. It’s actually a series of two powerful drugs taken over a couple of days.

Your body needs a hormone called progesterone to help the implanted embryo grow once fertilization has occurred. When you use the abortion pill procedure, the first drug you take is called mifepristone (Mifeprex®). This drug blocks the production of progesterone causing the lining of your uterus to thin which means the embryo can no longer stay attached.

The second drug, Misoprostol, is taken hours or even days after the first drug. Misoprostol causes your body to cramp and contract to expel your pregnancy. Because heavy bleeding is part of this process, you need to be at home and near a bathroom.

Side Effects of the Abortion Pill

According to the Mayo Clinic, the side effects of the abortion pill, in addition to vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping, include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Can also include a range of emotional side effects including relief, loss, sadness, and guilt

Potential abortion pill risks include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Your Next Step

If you need to schedule your pre-abortion testing with a no-cost pregnancy test and ultrasound, call us to schedule an appointment with First Step Women’s Center today.