How to take The Abortion Pill and What to Expect

Mifepristone, popularly known as "The Abortion Pill", offers women who are in early stages pregnancy a choice of a less invasive method to terminate their pregnancy. While it is not for every woman, abortion by pill allows the patient greater privacy as well as more personal control over the process of her abortion.

How does the abortion pill work?

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Step One

The First Step in the non-surgical abortion, otherwise known as the abortion by pill, is the office visit.

When you arrive at the office, you will be greeted by a non-judgmental and professional staff to answer your questions and support you through this process. You will be asked to fill out a medical history questionnaire to better inform the doctors so that they can best address your unique medical questions and concerns.
Once you have been registered we will perform some basic testing to verify your pregnancy and overall health. This includes a urine test, a blood test and a sonogram.

The doctor must make sure that you are at least 5 weeks into the pregnancy, so that an ectopic pregnancy can safely be ruled out by sonogram. Ectopic pregnancy is a serious medical condition where the pregnancy is developing outside of the uterus. As the pregnancy gets larger it can rupture the fallopian tubes and cause heavy bleeding. When this occurs the abortion pill is not effective. If the pregnancy is not seen on the sonogram you may be given blood tests to check for Beta HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). The level of this hormone in your blood can help indicate whether you are simply too early for the abortion pill or are at risk of ectopic pregnancy. This risk is why you cannot use the abortion pill before 5 weeks into a pregnancy. If you are diagnosed early with an ectopic pregnancy, it can be treated non-surgically by simply giving you an injection. For this reason, it is important you come in for an evaluation as soon as you think you are pregnant.

You must be at less than 8 weeks gestation because beyond that point the effectiveness of the non-surgical procedure drops significantly. There are times that despite taking the pill, not all of the pregnancy tissue leaves the uterus. If this happens, you must have a surgical procedure. This only happens in about 5 % of cases before 8 weeks of gestation. This is why we only occasionally provide the abortion pill in cases where a pregnancy is greater than 8 weeks.
Your office visit also allows the doctor the opportunity to address your emotional and psychological needs while also ruling out any other conditions which would keep you from being a good candidate for the abortion pill. Certain medicines or medical conditions may make the abortion pill less effective or put your health at risk. Please make sure your doctor is aware of all medical conditions, especially bleeding or clotting problems, which might increase your risk during the Abortion Pill process.
This time also allows you to ask questions regarding how the abortion pill works and what you will experience. It gives you time to confirm your decision regarding not only your abortion, but whether you wish to have an abortion by pill or switch to the surgical procedure or aspiration procedure.

Once you and your doctor are both satisfied that you are ready your doctor will have you take the Mifepristone tablet (The Abortion Pill) in the office. You must take the Abortion Pill in office at Parkmed NYC because of the FDA regulations regarding distribution of this medication.
This medication stops the development of the pregnancy by blocking the hormone Progesterone. Mifepristone can cause dizziness, nausea and period-like spotting however, but most women do not experience these side effects.
At this time the doctor will provide you with an envelope containing 800 mcg of a second medication, Misoprostol. This medication is for you to take at home twenty-four to forty-eight hours after you have taken the first pill.


The Second Step: 24 to 36 hours after you have seen the physician

We recommend that you find a time where you can be at home and comfortable. You will want to be near a bathroom and in a place where you can relax as much as possible. Once you are ready you will then put the tablets of the second medication, Misoprostol (Also known as Cytotec) inside your cheeks to let them dissolve.

This medication makes your uterus contract and expel the pregnancy tissue. Usually women start to have cramping and bleeding between 1 to 4 hours after taking this medication. Keep in mind that this process is different for every woman. You are encouraged to take pain medication to help moderate the cramping during this phase of the abortion pill process. Even with pain medication you should expect to feel cramping. The medication serves to make it less intense and more comfortable. Pain may also be reduced by resting and using heating pads or hot water bottles on your back or stomach. If the pain medication does not seem to be having any effect please contact the office to discuss this with the nurse or doctor.

You will eventually begin to have heavy period-like bleeding and start passing blood clots. At times these clots may be quite large. This is normal during the process, however, if you are concerned you can contact our office 24 hours a day with questions or concerns about your process. Do not feel alone or afraid while having the non–surgical abortion. At Parkmed we have highly trained and sensitive staff available to support you and answer your questions 24 hours a day. You are invited to call with your concerns at any time, seven days a week. We want to hear from you no matter the time or day. If you are completely soaking through more than two maxi pads for two consecutive hours contact Parkmed NYC as soon as possible. This amount of blood is considered heavy bleeding and could be a serious hazard.

It is our practice to also prescribe you prophylactic antibiotics. You should take the first antibiotic when you start to have bleeding so help protect yourself from any possible infection as your cervix is slightly open during this process.

The pregnancy tissue usually passes unnoticed because you are early in the pregnancy. It may appear in the form of a large blood clot or it may be recognizable as a small white form. Don’t be alarmed. This is normal, but simply seeing what you believe is the pregnancy tissue does not mean that the procedure is 100 % complete. This can only be verified at your follow up visit. If during this process you begin to have a fever over 100.3 degrees for more than 24 hours, or vomiting which persists for 4 to 6 hours please contact the office to speak with the nurse or doctor.

Women usually have period-like bleeding after they pass the pregnancy for days or even weeks. This is normal. Again, if the bleeding becomes heavy you should contact our office because we may want you to come in early for follow-up care.


Step Three: The follow up visit 14 to 21 days after you have completed the first two steps in the non surgical abortion process you must return to our office for a follow up visit.

This visit will include a urine test, sonogram and exam by the doctor. These tests are performed to make sure that the process is complete. The urine test verifies that your hormone levels have returned to a non-pregnant level. The sonogram allows the doctor to verify that there is no tissue or excess blood remaining in your uterus. You may still be spotting at this time but it is important to come in for this visit anyway. Once the doctor meets with you and verifies that you are no longer pregnant with no tissue remaining you can consider the Abortion by Pill Process complete.

How Much is an Abortion Pill | Medical Abortion?

The Abortion Pill | Medical Abortion is available at Parkmed NYC up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Many insurances will cover some or all of the cost of the Abortion Pill. At Parkmed NYC, there are no “hidden fees”. We believe that every woman who chooses to have a Medical Abortion | Abortion by Pill should not face the significant expense of the cost of the Abortion Pill. The cost of the Abortion Pill for patients with an insurance deductible that has not been met and cash paying patients is reasonable and affordable. For more information...... Read more

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