Abortion Procedure – Mifepristone (Mifeprex) and Misoprostol

Mifepristone (mifeprex) and misoprostol is a medical abortion procedure used up to the first 7 to 9 weeks of pregnancy. It is also referred to as RU-486 or the abortion pill.

A physical exam is first given in order to determine eligibility for this type of medical abortion procedure. You are not eligible if you have any of the following: ectopic pregnancy, ovarian mass, IUD, corticosteroid use, adrenal failure, anemia, bleeding disorders or use of blood thinners, asthma, liver or kidney problems, heart disease, or high blood pressure. You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection.

Mifepristone is given orally during your first office visit. Mifepristone blocks progesterone from the uterine lining, causing the lining to break down, preventing the ability to continue a pregnancy.

Misoprostol tablets are taken orally or inserted vaginally about 36 to 72 hours after taking the mifepristone. The tablets will cause contractions and expel the fetus. This process may take a few hours or as long as a few days.

A physical exam is given two weeks later to ensure the abortion was complete and to check for complications.

The side effects and risks of Mifepristone & Misoprostol include the following:

  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection

The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 8-10% of the time with the potential of requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.

It is not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease or use an intrauterine device (IUD).

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