What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

This girl is worried about the side effects of the abortion pill.

You just found out you’re pregnant and this was not how you envisioned your life going. Perhaps you’re feeling scared, worried, and anxious, wondering how you can move on from this as quickly as possible.

If you’re considering taking the abortion pill, you’re in the right place. Today, we will be breaking down a few important facts you should know before deciding if the abortion pill is the right option for you.

What is the abortion pill and how does it terminate a pregnancy? 

Before we can discuss the side effects of the abortion pill, it’s important to understand what it is and how it works. The abortion pill, or medical abortion, is actually a two-step process using the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

The abortion pill ends a pregnancy by first using Mifepristone to prevent the pregnancy from creating the hormone, progesterone, which is meant to nurture the pregnancy and help it grow and develop. Once the pregnancy has ended, Misoprostol will be used to cause contractions and push the pregnancy from the body.

These pills should only be taken in the first 10 weeks of gestation, so it’s crucial to confirm the age of your pregnancy through an ultrasound scan.

What are the side effects of the abortion pill? 

While surgical abortions are done at a doctor’s office, abortions using the abortion pill are usually completed at home, without the immediate supervision of a doctor.

The process of completing an at-home abortion is similar to the experience of a miscarriage. As the pregnancy ends and is expelled from the uterus, women will feel intense cramping in the abdomen and pass large blood clots that contain the pregnancy tissue.

In addition to cramping and bleeding, women might experience the following side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fever/chills
  • Vomiting 
  • Headaches

What are the risks associated with the abortion pill?  

While the side effects of the abortion pill should cease within days, the abortion pill may also be accompanied by some long-term, severe health risks, including: 

  • Prolonged bleeding and hemorrhaging 
  • Infections and sepsis 
  • Mental health issues1
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (for patients who are infected with Chlamydia)2

How can I avoid long-term health risks? 

Many of the severe, and potentially fatal, health risks related to the abortion pill can be avoided by undergoing essential pre-abortion screenings, such as an ultrasound scan and STI testing.

Willow Women’s Center

Willow Women’s Center is passionate about providing women with the care and services they need to make informed and safe decisions for their pregnancies. That’s why we provide all of our pre-abortion screening services at no cost to you! 

Our free pregnancy-related services include:

Knowledge and information are essential as you make a decision for your pregnancy and Willow Women’s Center is here to help you make the choice that’s right for you.

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  1. Broen AN, Moum T, Bødtker AS, Ekeberg O. The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, fiveyear follow-up study. BMC Med. 2005;3:18.
  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.






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