Abortion Pill (RU 486, Mifepristone/ Mifeprex)
How Does a Medical Abortion Work?
Mifeprex is an artificial steroid that blocks progesterone, which is a hormone necessary to continue a pregnancy. If the abortion does not occur completely then a second drug will be used to complete the abortion.
When Can I Take It?
Mifeprex has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use up to 49 days or 7 weeks after the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. However, it is often used up to 63 days or 9 weeks.
How Do I Get the Abortion Pill?
It is available only through a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. Before a medical abortion, the doctor will review your medical history and any medications you are taking, perform lab work, do a physical and pelvic exam, and perform an ultrasound to determine how far along the pregnancy is and where it is located. You will be informed of the possible risks of the procedure, side effects from the medications to be taken, and when to call your doctor or go to the hospital if there is a problem.
What Happens When I Take the Abortion Pill?
A medical abortion involves two drugs and three office visits.
- Day 1 At the first clinic visit you will take the Mifeprex.
- Day 3 At the second clinic visit, you will be examined to see if the embryo and all pregnancy tissue have been completely expelled. If the abortion has not occurred, you will be given a second drug, misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract to expel the embryo.
- Day 14 At the last visit, you will be examined to determine that the embryo and all pregnancy tissue have been completely expelled and that you are not having any other problems such as continued bleeding, infection, etc.
How Effective Is the Abortion Pill?
Danco Laboratories, the company that manufactures Mifeprex states it is 92-95% effective for ending early pregnancy (up to seven weeks after the beginning of the last menstrual period); so 5-8 % of women having a medical abortion will need a surgical procedure to end their pregnancy or stop heavy bleeding.
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