How Does the Abortion Pill Work?
Although it’s referred to as a pill (singular), the abortion pill actually consists of two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone is taken first, usually in a clinic. This medication cuts the supply of the hormone progesterone to the embryo, which is needed to maintain the pregnancy. Without a steady supply of progesterone, the embryo stops growing.
Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours later at home. This medication causes the uterus to contract and expel the fetus, which ends the pregnancy.
How Late Can You Take the Abortion Pill?
You can’t take the abortion pill beyond 10 weeks of pregnancy (or 70 days since the first day of your last menstrual period). This is because it becomes less effective the farther along you are. If you take the abortion pill later on in your pregnancy, you could experience serious complications and may need emergency surgery to complete the procedure.
Do I Need an Ultrasound Before Taking the Abortion Pill?
The answer is that ultrasounds provide the insight needed to make an informed and empowered decision about your pregnancy. Ultrasounds help determine two key things about your pregnancy: viability and gestational age.
A viable pregnancy means that the pregnancy is progressing properly. For example, at about six weeks, the embryo should have a visible heartbeat. One of the goals of an ultrasound is to rule out a nonviable pregnancy, such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy – in either case, abortion may be dangerous and is not needed.
Before spending your money only to find out you aren’t eligible for abortion, schedule a free ultrasound at The Northwest Center! It’s important to know how far along you are. The abortion pill has been approved by the FDA to be taken up until the 10th week of pregnancy (or 70 days since the first day of your last menstrual period). Although, it is not recommended and could be dangerous to take the abortion pill past 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Do I Need a Prescription for the Abortion Pill? Can I Get the Abortion Pill Over the Counter?
Certain pharmacies are now authorized to sell the abortion pill over the counter. However, the FDA requires a prescription from a qualified physician in order to take it.
Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?
The FDA advises against ordering the abortion pill online. Many online abortion pill providers are located overseas, so the pills they provide may not meet FDA standards. These pills could be counterfeit, expired, or even tampered with! It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid ordering the abortion pill online.
Abortion Pill Information
When those two lines first appear, it can be easy to panic. Don’t let fear make the final decision for you! Get the care and support you deserve at The Northwest Center! We offer free pregnancy resources, so you can make an empowered decision for your unplanned pregnancy:
- Free pregnancy tests
- Ultrasound referrals
- A safe, non-judgmental place to explore your pregnancy options and share what’s on your mind
- Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2023, January 24). Mifeprex (Mifepristone). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information
- Questions and Answers on Abortion Care and Freedom of Expression in the District of Columbia. Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. (2023, January 13). Retrieved from https://oag.dc.gov/release/consumer-alert-questions-and-answers-abortion-care
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, September 3). Slide Show: Fetal Ultrasound. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/multimedia/fetal-ultrasound/sls-20076294?s=3#