Between parenting, abortion, and adoption, it can be challenging to decide which pregnancy option is right for you. If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, take your time to carefully consider your options and evaluate the pros and cons of each. 

When it comes to abortion, there are several choices. For women in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, the abortion pill may be an option. However, before deciding if a medical abortion is right for you, we recommend educating yourself on how it works, the side effects, and the risks you might encounter along the way.

What is the abortion pill and how does it end a pregnancy?

The abortion pill process utilizes two medications: Mifepristone and Misoprostol. First, Mifepristone blocks the body’s production of the pregnancy hormone called progesterone. Progesterone provides the fetus with the nutrients it needs to grow and develop. Mifepristone blocks these nutrients, ending the viable pregnancy. 

Once the pregnancy has ended, Misoprostol will be administered to cause contractions and expel the fetus from the uterus.

Are there side effects related to the abortion pill? 

Yes, women can expect to experience side effects related to the abortion pill. As the pregnancy tissue is expelled from the womb, women typically experience intense uterine cramping, abdominal pain, and heavy bleeding.

You might also experience the following side effects in relation to a medical abortion:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fever/chills
  • Vomiting 
  • Headaches

Are there severe health risks associated with the abortion pill?  

Yes — unfortunately, some women do experience more severe health risks when taking the abortion pill.

These risks include: 

  • Prolonged bleeding and hemorrhaging 
  • Infections, septic shock, and sepsis 
  • Long-term mental health struggles1
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (related to an infection with Chlamydia)2

What precautions should I take before getting an abortion? 

Even though the abortion pill is usually taken at home, it is a serious procedure, and it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to know if it’s the right option. The reality is, you cannot simply make a pregnancy go away. Undergoing an ultrasound scan, STI testing, and talking through your options will help you in your decision.

Choices Resource Center believes every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy should know all her options and all possible side effects. That’s why we provide pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound scans, and STI testing by a licensed nurse practitioner—all completely confidential and free!

Schedule your free appointment today. 

  1. Broen A.N., Moum T, Bødtker A.S., et al. “The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study.” BMC Med 3, 18 (2005).
  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.