Where can I get a medical abortion?
FREQUENT QUESTION #6: Where can I get a medical abortion?
Medical abortion procedures are available for terminating a pregnancy during the early weeks of the first trimester.
For women seeking a medical abortion procedure, a sonogram is recommended to determine if the pregnancy is viable (uterine, non-ectopic pregnancy) and for accurate pregnancy dating.
Medical abortions can be performed in the United States up to 49 days into a pregnancy (this is about 3 weeks late for an average 28-day menstrual cycle).
Medical abortions usually involves the use of RU-486, a drug combination that disrupts the lining of an expectant mothers uterus (womb) and destroys the attachment of the early human embryo.
The synthetic prostaglandin, misoprostol, causes intense cramps and expels the embryonic/baby.
This process resembles the symptoms of a miscarriage, with pain and bleeding.
A percentage of women will also need surgical intervention after a medical abortion for persistent bleeding or for failure to expel their embryo/baby following a medical abortion.
Women using medical abortion have died as a result of using RU-486.
MTX is a medical abortion procedure used up to the first seven weeks (49 days) of pregnancy. This procedure is not as commonly used as in the past because of the availability of mifepristone.
Methotrexate is given orally or by injection during the first office visit.
Antibiotics are also given in order to prevent infection.
Misoprostol tablets are given orally or inserted vaginally about 3 to 7 days later. This can be done at home.
This procedure will usually trigger contractions and expel the fetus. The process may take a few hours or as long as a few days.
A physical exam is given a week later to ensure that the abortion procedure is complete and to check for complications.
Methotrexate is primarily used in the treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis because it attacks the most rapidly growing cells in the body.
In the case abortion, it causes the fetus and placenta to separate from the lining of the uterus.
Using the drug for this purpose is not approved by the FDA.
The side effects and risks of Methotrexate & Misoprostol include the following:
The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 5% of the time with the potential of requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.
Cramping, nausea, diarrhea, heavy bleeding, fever
Not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease, or use an intrauterine device (IUD).