How the Abortion Pill Works

The abortion pill is actually a series of pills. The first pill, mifepristone, begins a process to block the effects of progesterone (which is necessary to sustain the pregnancy) causing the death of the embryo over the next few days. On day 3, two pills are taken, one in each cheek pouch. These pills, misoprostol, will cause uterine contractions and bleeding, which can be severe, until the embryo or fetus is expelled. Bleeding typically lasts 9-16 days, however, some women may require surgery to stop the bleeding.

Signed consent for the surgical abortion procedure (D&C) is required in the event that the abortion pill doesn’t work or doesn’t complete the abortion.  An medical examination to assess for any complications is essential one to two weeks after the abortion per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocol.

Who Can Use the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is FDA-approved for women who are up to 10 weeks from their last menstrual period (LMP), although it has a higher failure rate as the pregnancy progresses. It should not be used if implantation in the uterus has not occurred – pregnancy is ectopic – as it will not abort an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening.

Reported Physical Side Effects to Watch For

  • Severe cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Nausea & vomiting

Reported Emotional Side Effects to Watch For

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Remorse
  • Guilt
  • Regret
  • Alcohol & drug abuse
  • Relationship problems

Other Potential Risks You May Want To Consider

  • Seeing the embryo/fetus or parts expelled – in toilet
  • Failure to abort
  • Hemorrhage requiring surgery
  • Birth defects in pregnancies that survive
  • Sepsis (life-threatening infection)
  • Undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy – pregnancy is not in the uterus

Research shows that post-abortive women are at increased risk for

  • Infertility
  • Breast Cancer (carrying to term lowers your risk of breast cancer – that protection is lost)
  • Premature delivery in future pregnancies
  • Miscarriage

Should you choose to use the Abortion Pill

Be aware that you will not be under medical supervision during most of the abortion process and will need to assess for yourself if your symptoms require emergency care. Should you experience  flu-like symptoms consistent with infection, seek immediate medical attention. Follow up visits should be kept to prevent complications from an undiagnosed infection.

Sometimes women regret their abortion decision after taking the first abortion pill. can connect patients in this situation to a health care provider that may be able to assist them in reversing the abortion process. Some women have successfully continued the pregnancy and given birth to healthy babies.

For more information on abortion and other alternatives, please call Gateway at 919-833-0096 or text us at 919-502-0096.