Before deciding if the abortion pill is right for you, a physical exam, ultrasound, and STD testing should be performed. These steps will provide information to determine eligibility for the abortion pill.
What is the Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill, sometimes called a medical abortion, is a series of two drugs that work together to terminate a pregnancy. Mifepristone is given first, usually at the provider’s office, and it blocks the body’s progesterone, a hormone used to support pregnancy. Within 48 hours, misoprostol is taken at home to start uterine contractions. The pregnancy is forced out of the woman’s body with heavy bleeding and cramping.
Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?
The abortion pill is not a safe option for all pregnancies. Obtaining the appropriate test safeguards a woman’s health. An ultrasound is crucial before using the abortion pill for a few reasons:
- 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Ultrasound can identify a heartbeat to determine if your pregnancy is viable. If the pregnancy is not growing, it might pass on its own, or intervention might be required. Either way, treatment for a miscarriage is different from abortion in that your regular doctor can care for you.
- The FDA only approves the abortion pill to end pregnancies under 10 weeks. An ultrasound will verify how far along the pregnancy is.
- The abortion pill is not effective in the termination of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a pregnancy attaches somewhere in the body other than the wall of the uterus. This condition is life-threatening for the woman and requires immediate treatment.
Why Do I Need STD testing?
STDs can be asymptomatic, meaning you can have an STD for years without knowing. STDs can increase the risk of complications from the abortion pill, including a severe infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to chronic pelvic pain and increase the risk of future ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
It is essential to disclose your medical history to your provider before an abortion to rule out other circumstances that might make the abortion pill unsafe. Other factors that might make you ineligible include:
- Blood clotting disorders or anemia
- Currently having an IUD in place
- Unable to return for follow-up appointments
- No access to emergency care
We Can Help
Schedule a free and confidential pre-abortion consultation today. Receive information about your pregnancy and your options so that you can prioritize your health.