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What you need to know about the medication abortion procedure
The decision to have an abortion is not an easy one to make because there are so many factors that you need to consider. However, if you decide that abortion is right for you, there are two procedures available; in this article, we’re going to explain the medication abortion procedure.
When a pregnancy is detected via an ultrasound test, you can opt to have a medication abortion. A stage of pregnancy ranging from five weeks up to nine weeks (63 days) is the window period for this safe abortion method. After nine weeks, you’ll need to have an in-clinic surgical abortion.
How does a medication abortion work?
Medication abortion is achieved using a combination of two medications which work together to terminate the pregnancy. The first pill is mifepriston (commonly known as the abortion pill.) It stops your 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 taking the first pill has been taken. It causes cramping and bleeding, which ultimately empties your uterus.
The procedure is far less invasive than surgical abortion and therefore is worth considering if you are less than nine weeks pregnant.
Reasons to choose the medication abortion procedure
- No anaesthesia or surgery is needed.
- It’s completely non-invasive
- A woman can have a medical abortion as soon as she finds out she is pregnant up to 9 weeks of pregnancy.
- Medical termination may feel like a natural process like miscarriage like heavy bleeding and intense abdominal cramps.
- A medication abortion doesn’t carry the same risks as a surgical abortion: possible complications include uterine perforation.
- Medical pregnancy termination also costs less than a surgical abortion procedure.
If you need any more information, it’s vital that you visit your nearest trustworthy women’s sexual and reproductive healthcare clinic. The professional staff will be able to answer your questions about medication abortion.
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
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