In researching options for your unplanned pregnancy, you’ll come across medical abortion, also called a chemical abortion.

It is a series of two different drugs, misoprostol and mifepristone, that are FDA-approved through ten weeks gestation. These work together to end the pregnancy.

Read this article for more information about how this process works and essential health screenings to take before an abortion.

How Does it Work?

The first prescription medication is mifepristone. The initial drug is an antiprogestin, so it prevents the pregnancy from receiving the essential hormone, progesterone.

Without this hormone, the pregnancy stops growing. Now that the pregnancy has ended, the uterus must be emptied, so the second drug, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later. This medication initiates uterine cramping so that your body expels the fetus and pregnancy tissue.

What Are the Risks?

Potential risks of medical abortion include:

  • 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
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

It’s also essential to ensure you are not taking certain other medications with mifepristone.

Next Steps

The Pregnancy Help Center of West Houston offers free pregnancy services, including pregnancy testing and ultrasound.

Before you take abortion medications, we recommend that you have a positive pregnancy test and ultrasound to learn details such as the pregnancy’s location and viability (up to 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage).

If an ultrasound reveals that you have an ectopic pregnancy or that you have miscarried, you may qualify for a procedure other than an elective abortion.

If you learn that the gestational age is past ten weeks, this could also affect the procedures that you’re eligible for.

Our medical staff provides a safe space for you to gather information, ask questions, and share concerns in a judgment-free environment. Contact us today!