Medical abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy by inducing abortion. In this case, you will be taking pills to induce an abortion and the fetus will be expelled from your body. Medical abortions are more effective than surgical abortions because they require less time and effort to complete the process.
Medical abortions cost less than surgical abortions because there is no need for anaesthesia, nor does it involve sedation; plus there are no hospital fees associated with medical procedures!
How effective is a medical abortion?
Medical abortion is very effective. Between 98 and 99 per cent of abortions are successful when the drugs are administered correctly. The amount of time it takes before the abortion will occur can vary from one woman to the next, but in general, medical abortions work within six to eight hours after you take your first dose of pills.
Can everyone have a medical abortion?
Medical abortion is safe and effective for most women who are less than 24 weeks pregnant. It’s also a good option for women who want to avoid surgical abortion, especially if they have access to a clinic offering the method. Medical abortion is not available if you are more than 24 weeks pregnant or your pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.
The main side effects of medical abortion include:
- Soreness in the lower abdomen that lasts one to two days after taking the medication
- Nausea, which usually lasts one day but can last up to three days after taking misoprostol
- Vaginal bleeding may be heavier than normal or lighter than normal. The amount of bleeding varies between each woman, but it usually stops within three to six hours after taking misoprostol
Can I have a medical abortion if I am breastfeeding?
It is not a contraindication for a woman to have a medical abortion while breastfeeding. You can take the same abortion pills as non-breastfeeding women; they are safe for you and your infant.
The only difference between a breastfeeding woman having an abortion and one who is not breastfeeding is that she may need to make an appointment with her doctor before taking the misoprostol pill. That’s because if you’re breastfeeding, it’s always good to check in with your doctor since other medications could affect your milk supply or your child’s health in general.
What happens after the pills are taken for a medical abortion?
After you take the first set of pills, you will start to bleed and cramping will begin. Depending on how far along in your pregnancy you are, this may be heavy bleeding or light spotting. The cramping may feel like period-like pain that comes and goes throughout the day and into the next morning. After 24 hours from taking your second set of pills (or when all of your bleedings has stopped), it is safe to assume that the abortion is complete.