This is an abortion caused by taking medication to end a pregnancy. Most common method is RU 486 / Mifepristone and Misoprostol to induce an abortion.
When is Medical Abortion Used?
Medical abortions can be performed as early as a pregnancy can be confirmed. Medical abortion is not usually an option after eight weeks (or 56 days) from the last menstrual period. After that time, surgical abortion is the safest and best option.
How the medication works:
Mifepristone. Mifepristone (the abortion pill or RU-486) is a medication that was developed and tested specifically as an abortion-inducing agent. It was first licensed in France in 1988, and is sometimes referred to as the “French pill”. Since then, it has been used safely by millions of women worldwide. It was approved for use in the US in September 2000. Mifepristone is taken in the form of a pill. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which causes the pregnancy to stop growing. It also causes the tissues to separate from the thinning uterus lining, causing the same result as a miscarriage.
Misoprostol. After taking Mifepristone, a second drug, Misoprostol, is taken. Misoprostol tablets are taken to cause the cervix to soften, uterus to contract and bleeding to begin which ends the pregnancy. This method of abortion is done in the privacy of your home and is non-invasive.
How long does the medical abortion take?
Most women complete this method within 2-6 hours after taking the Misoprostol. The majority of our patients complete the process within 24 hours of taking the abortion pill in our office
About 95%-98% of women will have a successful medical abortion. Complications are rare, however, a small percentage of women (approximately 0.5-2%) will need a suction aspiration (similar to a surgical abortion) because of heavy or prolonged bleeding.