In 2021, we learned that we can order just about anything we need or want online.  Moments after thinking of something that we want, we can have it ordered: a new outfit, groceries, pizza, decorations, and even abortion pills.  Ordering abortion pills online is becoming an increasingly popular option.

I encourage you to ask questions and do your research before taking any medication or having a medical procedure done without a medical professional’s supervision.  It is important to be empowered and understand what is happening/going to happen with your body.  It is your body, and you have the right to the best care and the best information! 

In an effort to help you be empowered and informed, here are some questions and answers about the abortion pill and it’s safety and effectiveness:

What is the abortion pill?

Some websites that sell abortion pills fail to completely outline what the abortion pill actually is.  The FDA describes the abortion pill as follows:

Mifeprex (mifepristone) is a drug that blocks a hormone called progesterone that is needed for a pregnancy to continue.  Mifeprex, when used together with another medicine called misoprostol, is used to end an early pregnancy (70 days or less since the first day of the last menstrual period).

Is the abortion pill always effective?

It is important to note that abortion pills are not designed to terminate pregnancy past ten weeks.  When considering ordering the abortion pill online, it is important to be completely certain how far along the pregnancy is.  These days, shipping can take awhile and be a little unpredictable, so when you receive the pill, this could be a factor in its safety and effectiveness.  An ultrasound is the best way to confirm the viability of a pregnancy and determine how far along it is.

The abortion pill is also not effective in ending an ectopic pregnancy.  An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fetus has implanted outside of the uterus, and it is very dangerous!  An ultrasound is an important part of diagnosing and getting an ectopic pregnancy treated safely.  Taking an abortion pill will not end this pregnancy, and an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy can be fatal.

The abortion pill is not 100% effective.  Sometimes abortions fail.  The Mayo Clinic notes that “It is sometimes necessary to have a surgical abortion to completely end the pregnancy.  You may also need to have surgery if there is any tissue left in your uterus after treatment with mifepristone.”  Taking a pill you purchased online could put you at risk for a failed abortion since there is no medical professional oversight.  This is something to consider before making your decision.

Are there side effects?

Several websites that offer the abortion pill have stated that this pill is “safer than Tylenol”.  However, the abortion pill does have several known side effects.  According to the FDA, the abortion pill can cause:

  • cramping and vaginal bleeding
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • fever/chills
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness

The FDA also notes that in more rare cases, the abortion pill can lead to systematic infection (sepsis).

Are there scenarios where I should NOT take the abortion pill?

If it has been more than 10 weeks since your last menstrual period, the pill is not effective and can cause even greater issues.  The FDA also warns people in the following situations to not take the pill:

  • if you have an ectopic pregnancy (a fetus implanted outside of the uterus)
  • if you have problems with the adrenal glands (the glands near the kidneys)
  • if you are currently being treated with long-term corticosteroid therapy (medications)
  • if you have had an allergic reaction to mifepristone, misoprostol, or similar drugs
  • if you have bleeding problems or are taking anticoagulant (blood thinning) drug products
  • if you have inherited porphyria
  • if you have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place (it must be removed before taking Mifeprex)

Anyone who falls into any of these categories should see a doctor and not order the abortion pill without proper medical care as it could be very dangerous.

You deserve the very best care, and you deserve to have all the information to help you make an informed decision!  The abortion pill can certainly be convenient, but it is not always safe.  Prioritize your health and safety first and seek the best medical care and information.  Getting an ultrasound and medically accurate information from a licensed medical provider will help you make the safest, most informed decision.

If you would like more information or would like someone to talk to, we are here for you!  We are here to listen to you without judgement and offer you confidential support.  Life Choices Center provides FREE pregnancy testing and refers for FREE onsite, confidential, first trimester ultrasounds with a licensed physician without requirement of insurance.

Contact us today!  Call/Text 607.205.8506 or email info@lifechoicescenter.org.

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/mifepristone-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20067123