Think you might be unexpectedly pregnant and considering ordering the abortion pill online? You may have heard more about it recently, but perhaps you’re wondering – is it truly safe?
The best thing you can do is find out the facts before taking your next steps. Regardless of where you might obtain it, abortion is a serious medical undertaking that involves certain inherent risks and potential side effects. Put your health and safety first by finding out all there is you need to know about the abortion pill – and how an at-home abortion may put you at higher risk.
Know the Risks of the Abortion Pill
The “abortion pill,” as medication abortion is commonly referred to, is actually a series of two medication doses. The first, Mifeprex (or mifepristone), keeps the pregnancy from progressing by blocking the production of progesterone, a hormone. Following that, misoprostol – the second dose – causes contractions (or cramps) in the uterus to expel the pregnancy through the vagina.
Whether you get the abortion pill online or from a clinic, it is still a medical procedure that has potential physical risks and side effects. The following are listed by the Mayo Clinic as potential physical 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
- Digestive system discomfort
Can You Get Substandard Medication Online?
Whether it’s happened to you or to a friend, we’re all familiar with how sometimes you can order something online and have it arrive at your door looking nothing like what you expected. In a similar sense, ordering medication online can be risky.
Not only does an online pharmacy only have so much visibility into your unique medical needs – and cannot protect you from complications that would be diagnosed only by a medical professional in person – but you may also be at risk for receiving substandard or unusual medication online. This is particularly true when ordering from an unknown or unlicensed source. Even with the increased availability of the abortion pill online in recent years, the FDA recommends that consumers use caution when ordering from online pharmacies.
What Are My Pregnancy Options to Protect My Health?
The best way to move forward and learn more about what pregnancy options are available to you, given your unique medical needs, is through in-person care. An ultrasound exam can help you find out key information about your pregnancy – such as how far along you are and if any complications are present.
The information you gain from this in-person care can equip and empower you to make a confident choice going forward. And you may find reassurance in discussing your options and all that they entail with a licensed medical professional. At Pregnancy Help Center of West Houston, we are here to help. Our medical team can provide you with an ultrasound to get your questions answered at no cost to you. Schedule your free appointment today to put your health and safety first.
In-Person Care Specialized to You Makes a Difference
Ordering from an online pharmacy may involve answering some basic screening questions – but these simply cannot replace personalized care from an in-person examination by a medical professional to ensure your unique medical needs are being met. Without this verification under medical supervision, it’s possible you may be getting the wrong type of care or may be putting your health and safety at risk.
For example, dating where you think you are in pregnancy based on your last period – without verification through an ultrasound exam – may mean that you could be farther along than you expect. The FDA approves the use of the abortion pill to terminate early pregnancies up to 10 weeks – but taking the medication past this point in pregnancy could be ineffective or cause further complications, such as incomplete abortion or infection.
In addition, without in-person care from a medical professional, you may be missing the signs of particular complications. For instance, the best way to diagnose ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage is through an ultrasound exam as well. If either of these complications were a concern for you, you would need immediate medical care, and taking abortion medication would not resolve the situation.