If you’re considering using telehealth to get a prescription for a medical abortion, it’s probably because the privacy or convenience appeals to you. 

However, this option is not without its disadvantages. It can bypass important health screenings such as an ultrasound which can be crucial in determining if you’re eligible for certain abortion procedures.

Here are three things to know if you’re considering a mail-order abortion.

How the Abortion Pill Works

Medical abortion is only FDA-approved for up to 10 weeks of gestational age and is actually a series of two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. 

The purpose of the first drug, mifepristone, is to block progesterone, a hormone that is essential for pregnancy development. The pregnancy will end without it.

After the pregnancy has ended, the next medication, misoprostol, is taken within 24-48 hours later. This causes the uterus to contract and expel the fetus and pregnancy tissue. You can expect cramping and vaginal cramping after taking misoprostol.

Ordering a Mail-Order Abortion Can Skip the Ultrasound

If you order a mail-order abortion, this requires first a telehealth consultation with a physician and then your prescription is sent to a local pharmacy for pickup. 

Depending on the abortion provider, this process can skip an ultrasound. While not in our state, some states require an ultrasound before prescribing an abortion because this important scan can alert you to health risks such as an ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancies are located outside the uterus, usually within one of the fallopian tubes. If left untreated, the fallopian tubes can rupture and pose a serious health risk. Abortion pills do not impact pregnancies located outside the uterus.

Ultrasounds can also inform you if your pregnancy is viable or not. If you had a miscarriage, you’ll require different medical care outside of the abortion pill.

The Abortion Pill Does Not Protect You from STIs

It’s important to get tested for an STI before an abortion, even if you are asymptomatic. If you do have an STI while pregnant, it can pose additional risks to yourself

Having an abortion with an untreated STI seems to correlate with a higher likelihood of pelvic infection. That’s why it’s important to get tested for STIs and receive treatment before you choose an abortion. 

What Next? 

Facing an unplanned pregnancy, no matter your situation or background can be daunting and scary. At Life Choices Center, we believe in providing evidence-based education, sharing all your options and resources, and empowering you to make a decision with confidence. 

We also provide referrals for no-cost, onsite ultrasounds.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can gain more information and discuss your options in a pressure-free environment. We are here for you!

Life Choices Center does not perform or refer for abortions.