What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

There are many risks associated with the abortion pill, including but not limited to:

  • Incomplete abortion
  • Infection
  • Septic shock
  • Fever

The abortion pill is a serious medication, and only certain women are eligible to take it. Continue reading to understand more about the abortion pill method.

What Is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill goes by several names: Mifeprex, medical abortion, medication abortion, and RU-486. 

It is actually a two-drug process that starts at the abortion clinic and ends at home. Follow-up appointments are essential to ensure the abortion was completed and there are no health concerns.

Mifepristone is the first drug in the abortion pill process. It is prescribed and taken at the abortion clinic and causes fetal demise by blocking progesterone.

Misoprostol is the second drug, and it is taken at home at least 24 hours later. It causes uterine cramping and contractions to expel the fetal tissue.

This abortion method can be painful, and heavy bleeding, cramping, and passing blood clots are not abnormal.

What Are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

Like any medication, the abortion pill comes with some risks. You should be fully informed about these risks before taking the drugs.

Mayo Clinic lists the following as risks of the abortion pill:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing, unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Septic shock is a medical emergency and can be a risk of taking the abortion pill. The National Institutes of Health list the following symptoms of septic shock following a medication abortion: 

You must seek medical care immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Very high or very low body temperature
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Cool, pale arms and legs
  • Feelings of confusion, restlessness, or fatigue
  • Shaking chills
  • Low blood pressure, especially when standing
  • Inability to urinate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Difficult, rapid breathing with shortness of breath

Taking a couple of pills may seem easy and harmless, but these are serious medical risks. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.

Before You Take the Abortion Pill

Before you take the abortion pill, you need to know how far along you are and the location of your pregnancy.

The FDA approved the abortion pill for use through the first 70 days of pregnancy, and taking it after that time can cause health complications for you.

Additionally, the abortion pill is not approved for the termination of ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies located outside the uterus). 

Obtaining an ultrasound before you take the abortion pill is important to reveal the timing and location of your pregnancy, so you know if the abortion pill is an option for you, or if another treatment is required.

At Life Choices Center, we can refer you for a no-cost, onsite ultrasound so you can get the answers you need. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

Life Choices Center does not perform or refer for abortions.