You do not need to feel alone – talk to any one of our helpline professionals.
We are here to help guide and support you through any choice you need to make.
Five things you need to know about the abortion pill
Did you know that there is an alternative to having a surgical abortion? The medication abortion is another option. There is a lot of misinformation out there about this procedure; in this article, we’ll clear up any misinterpretation.
- The abortion pill and the morning-after pill are entirely different
The abortion pill is a combination of two pills that stop a pregnancy from taking place. The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception that prevents ovulation. If ovulation has already taken place, the morning-after pill won’t work. The only type of contraception that can prevent you from getting pregnant is the copper IUD.
- What does the abortion pill do?
Abortion is achieved using a combination of two medications which work together to terminate the pregnancy. The first pill is mifepristone (commonly known as the abortion pill.) It stops the ovaries from producing the hormone, progesterone – which is needed for pregnancy. The second pill is called misoprostol and needs to be taken 6 to 48 hours after the first pill has been taken. It causes cramping and bleeding, which subsequently empties your uterus.
- The abortion pill is not dangerous to your health
Many women are hesitant to take the abortion pill because they are worried about their health. It’s widely accepted that if the abortion pill is taken at an early stage in your pregnancy, it’s safe – 5 to 9 weeks is the window period for a safe medication abortion. After nine weeks, a surgical abortion is the safe only option.
- You can expect certain side effects
Bleeding and cramping will occur; this is the process of the body emptying the uterus. However, other side effects may include:
- You may need to have follow-up care
It’s vital that you attend follow-up consultations with your doctor. He/she will perform a general checkup to make sure that your uterus is healing properly; if not, he/she will advise you about follow-up care.
How you prepare for a medication abortion
If you’re considering medication abortion, meet with a doctor to discuss the procedure. The doctor will likely:
- Evaluate your medical history and overall health
- Confirm your pregnancy with a physical exam
- Perform an ultrasound exam to date the pregnancy
- Do blood and urine tests
- Explain how the procedure works, the side effects, and possible risks and complications
Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)
You can expect intermittent mild to severe cramps whether you choose the medical process (often called the abortion pill) or procedure (a minor same-day procedure). However, the pain can be managed by medication.
The cost of our services varies according to:
- the location of the Marie Stopes centre you choose
- the stage of your pregnancy
- the method you choose (medical process or procedure)
Please contact us for more information.
Yes. Neither abortion method will prevent you from getting pregnant in the future.
- The abortion pill is 98 – 99 percent effective.
- The procedure is 99 percent effective.
You will take two pills. The first pill is commonly known as the abortion pill (mifepristone). It stops the ovaries from producing the hormone, progesterone – which is needed for pregnancy. The second pill, called misoprostol, needs to be taken 6 – 48 hours after taking the first pill. It causes cramping and bleeding which empties your uterus.
A doctor will stretch your uterus and insert a hollow tube, removing the lining of the uterus through aspiration of the tissue.
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sore breasts
- Light vaginal bleeding
Emergency complications can include:
- Excessive heavy bleeding
- Strong-smelling vaginal discharge
- Severe abdominal pain
CONFIDENTIALITY. We guarantee your rights to confidentiality during your pregnancy.
All personal information submitted remains private and confidential.
Ask a question
Your email address will remain confidential. Required fields are marked.