The abortion pill is a medicine called mifepristone that ends an early pregnancy.In general, it's used up to 70 days — 10 weeks — after the first day of a woman's last period. Women over this mark can have an in-clinic abortion procedure.
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Health Care Provider 1: From the ultrasound we've established you're 5 weeks pregnant. In many clinics in the US, medication abortion is provided up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. You're well within that range. Your lab work & medical history are fine, so you can go ahead today with the abortion.
The following video offers a brief look at the steps involved in an abortion using the abortion pill. For more complete information about abortion & abortion laws in your state, call your local Planned Parenthood Health Center or visit www.plannedparenthood.org. Clients in the early stages of pregnancy receive information about 2 methods of pregnancy termination: in-clinic abortion, which is done by a doctor or advanced practice nurse in the clinic, and the abortion pill which is done by taking certain medicines. The abortion pill can be taken up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. The clients in this video received info about both options and have chosen to use the abortion pill.
HCP 1: You've chosen mifeprex (mifepristone), the abortion pill.
Eloise: I can take that at home right?
HCP 1: Well you take the first pill here at the clinic; the second medication you can take at home. We'll give you detailed instructions on how to take the 2nd medication at home & when to take it. We recommend you make yourself comfortable for several hours after taking the 2nd medication. Having a partner or friend to take care of you is a good idea.
Eloise: Can you tell me more about what to expect?
HCP2: Cramping & bleeding usually begin within an hour or two of taking the second medication. Some women describe it as similar to having a miscarriage. It's common to feel hot the same day as you take the 2nd medication. Some women experience diarrhea or nausea. The most common effect of the 2nd medication is cramping & bleeding.
Patient 2: Will the abortion be painful?
HCP 2: It varies from woman to woman. Some women report no cramps; a few have intense cramps. Most are somewhere in the middle. We'll give you prescriptions for medicines that will help with the cramping. Bleeding varies, too. You may see large blood clots and you may have bleeding that's heavier than the heaviest day of the period, or you may have bleeding that is lighter than a period.
Patient 2: How will I know when the bleeding should stop?
HCP 2: Once the pregnancy expels, the bleeding & the cramping should slow down, but light spotting could continue for weeks. Once a day has passed since using the 2nd medicine, you should feel better & better. If you feel sick, if you're in a lot of pain, if you have a fever, we want you to call us. We're available by phone 24 hours a day.
Patient 2: But I come back for a follow-up right?
HCP 3: The follow-up visit is very important. We need to make sure the medication has worked properly.
Patient 3: So it might not work?
HCP 3: The medication abortion is successful 98% of the time. During your 2nd visit, we'll do another ultrasound to be sure you're no longer pregnant. This is mifeprex , the abortion pill. You go ahead & take it whenever you're ready, OK?
Patient 3: So I'm done for today?
Once you take the first medicine, the abortion has begun. You must be certain of your decision to have an abortion before you take the first medication.
HCP 2: What was your experience like when you took the 2nd medication?
Patient 2: The blood clotting surprised me at first, even though you told me that would happen. It was really good to have it privately. It felt more natural to me.
HCP 2: How do you feel today?
Patient 2: So much better.
HCP 2: That's good!
HCP 1: Well, you're no longer pregnant.
Eloise: That's great. I really would like a baby sometime, but right now we just can't afford it. I'm really glad we had this choice.
HCP 1: How do you feel?
Eloise: I feel normal. After I took the medicine at home I had bleeding like a period & some cramps, but I feel fine.
HCP 1: That's good.
Deciding how to handle an unintended pregnancy can be a difficult decision. Women sometimes make hard choices because they care about their family or their future family. It's normal to feel many different emotions after an abortion. Sadness, anger, relief, & the feeling of being alone are common. We want you to know that you're not alone. 1 in 3 women will experience an abortion sometime in her lifetime. Whatever your decision, we'll help you with services or referrals. For more info, visit www.plannedparenthood.org or call 1-800-230-PLAN.