About Medical Abortion

In a medical abortion, you have to use two medications – Mifepristone 200gm and Misoprostol 800mcg (4 x 200mcg pills) one after the other. On day first day, you need to take the anti-progesterone pill Mifepristone orally with water. The medication helps curtail the pregnancy from growing and prepares you for the removal of pregnancy portions from the body by shedding the uterine lining and getting the embryo disconnected from the placenta.

The secondary medication Misoprostol is a prostaglandin E1 analog and is useful to expel pregnancy parts from the body with vaginal bleeding. It helps to make the cervical opening flexible and wider. So, when the uterine contractions take place, it is not hard for the tissues and embryo to get out. Mifepristone alone cannot cause an abortion. It has to be combined with Misoprostol instead.

You can use Misoprostol buccally by placing a set of 2 pills in a cheek pouch. Repeat the same at the next cheek pouch and wait for 30 minutes. Do not eat or drink anything, or talk or move your mouth much during this duration. Another method of Misoprostol administration is vaginal. Here you have to put one pill after the other in the vagina with a finger and lay down on the back for half an hour.

When Can You Choose Medical Abortion?

You must only choose medical abortion if in early pregnancy. The abortion pills will work successfully for pregnancies in the gestation age of up to 8 to 9 weeks and not beyond. To understand how further along you are into pregnancy, count the gestation period as the first day from the last menstrual period. Or, simply get an ultrasound of the uterus and know the exact pregnancy age.

What to Expect from Medical Abortion with Pills?

After taking Mifepristone you may or may not have light bleeding. Any of these are normal. But on taking Misoprostol, cramping and bleeding begin. However, do not get tensed, as such symptoms prove that the medications are working as per expectation. For some, the cramps are easier to manage, but others may face strong cramps.

The cramps are from uterine contractions that pass out blood clots containing pregnancy tissues and the embryo in the initial hours of prostaglandin E1 analog pill usage. The bleeding may also contain clots the size of a lemon. The bleeding and clot passing is more if the pregnancy is beyond 5 weeks.

You may start feeling better within a day if the pregnancy parts mostly pass out from the womb in 24 to 48 hours. Do not panic if the cramping is mild but you are bleeding. You could be in early pregnancy, so the pregnancy tissues have not much developed.

How to Tell Expulsion of Pregnancy Parts?

You may wonder, how to know if the bleeding contains pregnancy parts or not. There is no sure way to tell that because the bleeding will contain the broken endometrial lining. But apart from that, you may see clots comprising thin and dark-colored grape-like membranes. The tissues may emerge in form of blood clots and until you notice carefully, you may not be able to understand.

How to Detect a Successful Abortion?

After two weeks of Mifepristone pill intake, you must go for a follow-up at a clinic. The physician will usually perform an ultrasonographic scan of the uterus to check if the womb is empty or not. It is not wise to order a pregnancy test kit for a home pregnancy check. This is because, after an immediate abortion, the pregnancy hormones may still have a presence in the body. So, the test results may not be true.

And if you think the pregnancy has been terminated after two weeks, but there are lingering symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, and breast tenderness, then consult your healthcare provider. He/she will advise you on how to recover from the procedure at ease.

How to Recover Quickly from a Medical Abortion?

There are physical changes that happen during a pregnancy. Similarly, a pregnancy termination may also give rise to physical effects. To get over these smoothly, you need to learn how to cope with every symptom. For instance, for pain, you can use a hot water bag and painkillers. For dizziness, you can maintain a regular sleep and rest routine. For diarrhea, you may stick to light meals comprising less oily items.

For emotional care, you can talk it out with a counselor or get support from your close ones. Remember that the menstrual cycle will eventually normalize in 4 to 8 weeks. To avoid conceiving after an abortion, use birth control within 3 to 9 days of the procedure if you are sexually active. Do not insert anything inside the vagina till the abortion bleeding does not end.

What to Consider Before Taking Abortion Pills?

There are certain contraindications to medical abortion, these are:
  • If you do not get the birth control intrauterine device removed
  • If you are not prepared for a follow-up visit or emergency care
  • If you are over 35 years of age and smoke more than 10 cigarettes in a day
  • If you have severe breathing problems
  • If you have severe anemia
  • If you have uncontrollable high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels

Understand the Abortion Pill Warnings

Medical pregnancy termination helps to remove pregnancy parts from the womb. And this happens through vaginal bleeding. But to get the uterus emptied, the medicines have to perform certain functions such as stopping the pregnancy from growing, disintegrating the embryo, and letting the tissues out of the vagina. While these effects are ongoing, you may encounter a few changes as mentioned below:

Cramping and Pain
As the uterus contracts, cramping will result. On Misoprostol intake, the medicine is supposed to produce uterus contractions to expel products of conception, and this is an expected outcome. Due to cramps, you may experience pain in the back, lower abdomen, legs, etc. You may take painkillers beforehand the medication, and get some relief from this effect.
Heavy Vaginal Bleeding
The bleeding is more than menstrual bleeding. It is more after Misoprostol starts to work. But the bleeding reduces once the uterus gets free of pregnancy sections. But remain cautious. If you soak thoroughly 2 sanitary napkins from all sides in just an hour and this continues to happen for the next two hours, then the bleeding is quite heavy. And at this time, you may require medical assistance.
Common Effects
If you get nausea, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting after using Misoprostol, then it is nothing to worry about. These are common effects and shall reduce as the pregnancy portions get out of the body. You will start to feel better and should not feel sick anymore. However, if the symptoms get severe and last for more than 24 to 48 hours, then seek medical attention. If the pain increases and there is no or hardly any bleeding following Misoprostol, then get a check-up at your healthcare provider for ectopic pregnancy (external pregnancy, not in the uterus), or for any signs of a disorder.