Facts and Myths About the Abortion Pill
If you are facing an unintended pregnancy and considering the abortion pill, you deserve to be informed in order to make an educated decision. The “morning after pill,” misoprostol, ulipristal, RU-486, or Plan B are all names that you may have heard. It’s important to know that all of these medications have different purposes and different side effects. You can read about them on another one of our blog posts, What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill? — Align Pregnancy Services.
To briefly review, a medicated abortion consists of a two-step process. The first step begins with a pill called Mifepristone (RU-486). This stops the production of the progesterone hormone, which is a hormone created by the body to help the pregnancy progress. This is the hormone that a pregnancy test will detect to give you a positive result. There are risks associated with this medication, as we talked about in the previously mentioned blog post.
The second pill, Misoprostol, is given to a woman to then take at home 24-48 hours after taking the first pill. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and puts the body into labor to expel the baby. During this abortion process, a woman’s body will experience symptoms of labor, including, abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhea. This brings us to the first myth that many women may believe.
Please know that these facts are not meant to scare you, or to manipulate your pregnancy decision. You deserve to have all of the facts, and to be prepared to ask your healthcare provider educated questions.
Myth #1 : A medicated abortion is completely safe to take in the comfort of your own home.
Despite what you may have heard- the first pill that begins a medicated abortion, Mifepristone (also called Mifeprex) , MUST be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider. According to the FDA, “it may only be dispensed in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals by or under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider” Mifeprex (mifepristone) Information | FDA. The second pill, Misoprotol, which again, brings on labor to expel the baby, is typically taken at home. If you choose to have a medicated abortion, be sure to ask your doctor about all of the side effects of the medication, just as you would for any other pharmaceutical drug that you would be prescribed. Note that these medications come with a Black Box Warning, which is the highest label of warning that the FDA uses for serious safety risks.
The FDA also clearly states on their website that “You should not buy Mifeprex or its approved generic over the Internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health.” In other words, you don’t know exactly what you are receiving when you cut corners and buy medications online. When it comes to your health, it is best to always talk to your healthcare professional.
Lastly, because the abortion pill is only approved to be taken up until 10 weeks’ gestation, it is very important that you have an ultrasound completed beforehand so that you can confirm the exact gestational age of your baby. If you take the pill past that timeframe, it could harm you and cause severe complications. Contact us to receive a free ultrasound that will confirm how far along your pregnancy is.
Myth #2: A medicated abortion will simply be like a heavy period.
Again, according to the FDA, these medications can be taken up until 70 days’ gestation, or week 10 of your pregnancy. At 9 weeks, a baby is about ¾ of an inch long, and has begun to develop arms, legs, hands, and feet. The baby’s eyelids and ears are beginning to form. All of the baby’s major organs are forming. With that being said, you can expect more than a heavy period with medicated abortion. (Fetal development: The 1st trimester – Mayo Clinic)
Misoprotol, the second pill that you take at home, causes your body to go into labor, which can be very difficult on your body. Most women do not experience periods that can be compared to the feeling of labor.
Myth #3 : A medicated abortion does not hurt the baby.
A study published in 2017 revealed amazing truths about a developing baby’s nervous system. The study states that, “pain receptors appear around the mouth at 4 to 5 weeks’ post-fertilization, followed by the development of nerve fibers, which carry stimuli to the brain. Around 6 weeks’ post-fertilization, the unborn child first responds to touch.” (New Research Shows “Adult-Like” Nerves in Very Young Embryos: Affirming the Likelihood of Fetal Pain (care-net.org))
Based off of these results, it would be safe to assume that a baby would be able to feel pain by 10 weeks of pregnancy, and likely before. Ending your pregnancy with a medicated abortion may cause the baby to feel distress.
Myth #4: There is no turning back once you take the abortion pill.
If you have taken Mifepristone, and have not yet taken your second pill, there is a chance for you to potentially reverse the abortion. Time is of the essence, so contacting your doctor or the abortion pill reversal hotline at (877) 558-0333 is the first step.
The abortion pill reversal is a process in which you would begin taking the natural hormone progesterone. Studies show that 64-68% of pregnancies have been saved by women who begin this hormone treatment within 24 hours of taking Mifepristone. Progesterone has been used in pregnancy related treatments for the past 60 years, and has no known health risks or side effects for the mother or baby. In addition, the birth defect rate in babies whose mothers have done an abortion pill reversal are less than or equal to the general population.
Changing your mind is not uncommon, and you do not need to live with regret for the rest of your life. Take action to start the abortion pill reversal if you are feeling that you may have made the wrong decision. Abortion Pill Reversal – Overview
If you’ve had a past abortion and find yourself dealing with some hard feelings, it’s important to know that healing and hope are available for you. Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. You are not alone and you can receive healing from the pain of a past abortion decision. Contact us today to speak with our Post-Abortion Services Director.