How Does Medical Abortion Work?

The most common option for pregnancy termination is the medical abortion, which is available when you are up to nine weeks pregnant. The medical termination involves taking two different kinds of medication over a two day period.

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Initial Consultation

Your first meeting with the doctor is just a chance to discuss your options and to learn more about your options. If you decide to go ahead with pregnancy termination and the doctor recommends a medical termination, you will need to come back to take the abortion pill. Some medical checks will also be performed to ensure that a medical termination is the right option for you.

Taking the First Abortion Pill

The first abortion pill contains a medication called mifepristone. You will need to take the pill at the clinic, under medical supervision. It is taken by mouth, with a drink of water.

The Effects of Mifepristone

Mifepristone is a drug that blocks the hormone that maintains the lining of the womb during pregnancy. You probably won't notice much after you take the first hormone pill and you will be able to go about your normal routine. Some women experience light cramps of a little bit of bleeding.

Taking the Second Abortion Pill

You will take the second abortion pill at the clinic, one or two days later. This second medication is called prostaglandin, and it usually best taken as a vaginal pessary, although it can be given orally or under the  tongue. You may want to remain in hospital for a while after taking the second abortion pill, but you can also choose to go home after it has been administered.

The Effects of Prostaglandin

Prostaglandin will cause the lining of your womb to break down. The womb lining and its contents will then be expelled from your body, which will feel like having a period. You should notice the effects of the medication within about two to four hours after taking the pill. You may experience some cramps and period-like pains along with the bleeding, but taking a painkiller should help with this. Some women also experience sickness, shivering or diarrhoea after a medical pregnancy termination.

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