What is Mifepristone & Misoprostol?

Abortion is an essential part of reproductive healthcare, and at Life Cycle for Women, we believe in destigmatizing this important choice. Everyone, regardless of their gender identity, should have easy access to abortion care. Our team stands for reproductive rights and aims to offer support and guidance every step of the way in your decision.

We know how important it is to learn about your reproductive healthcare. If you are considering this important choice, it is essential to explore all available options. Whether undergoing a medication or surgical abortion, knowing more about each procedure will help you choose the option that makes you feel most comfortable. 

We hope a better understanding of the medication abortion process will help you feel more confident about your reproductive health learning journey. Keep reading to know more about the process, medications used, and their safety and efficacy. 

Understanding Medication Abortion

Medication abortion is a procedure performed to terminate an early pregnancy by using medication. It is also known as non-surgical abortion or often referred to as “the abortion pill.” It can be performed from the confirmation of pregnancy up until 11 weeks of gestation.

4 out of 10 women in the US choose medication abortion over other options. It is a popular choice due to multiple factors, such as:

  • It offers a natural approach since it resembles the process of an early miscarriage.
  • The process can be completed without necessary visits to a medical clinic.
  • Its flexibility allows you to perform it in the comfort of your own home under your doctor or medical provider's guidance.
  • It is often more affordable than surgical procedures.

The medication abortion process involves taking two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. These two halt the growth of pregnancy and induce the emptying of the uterus.

What is Mifepristone?

Mifepristone is in charge of blocking the production of progesterone, a natural substance needed for a pregnancy to continue. Its main function is to break down the lining normally shed during menstruation, allowing the embryo to detach from the uterine wall.

Used along with misoprostol, it is one of the safest and most effective ways to terminate a pregnancy. Since its usage approval in 2000 by the FDA, Mifepristone has been safely used in abortion procedures.

Mifepristone is only available by prescription and should be used under medical guidance.

What is Misoprostol?

Misoprostol was originally used in the ‘70s to prevent peptic ulcers in people taking pain medication that could cause an increase in stomach acid secretion. One of its major side effects was that it could induce an abortion.

Like Mifepristone, it was approved in 2000 in the United States by the FDA and has since then been used for reproductive healthcare purposes. It works by softening and thinning the cervix, leading to uterus contractions, bleeding, and cramping.

A medication abortion happens with the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol. This is achieved progressively over a couple of days under the guidance of a doctor or nurse.

Learn more about how to take these abortion pills safely and properly by reading our educational information available for you.

What are the side effects of Mifepristone & Misoprostol?

After taking Mifepristone and Misoprostol to end your pregnancy, bleeding, and cramping are expected. It usually starts between 1 to 4 hours after taking the pills and may continue for 4 to 5 hours. Cramps may continue on and off for one or two days.

It is normal to see large blood clots and have an upset stomach. Some side effects that may appear after taking both medications include:

  • Cramping and pain in your belly and uterus area
  • Heavy bleeding, along with large clots
  • Having an upset stomach with diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and tiredness
  • Mild fevers and chills

Managing Side Effects

To manage these symptoms and feel a bit more comfortable during this procedure, we recommend taking safe pain medicine like ibuprofen or paracetamol. Do not take aspirin since this could cause severe bleeding.

Try heating pads to help with the cramps, take a warm shower, and rest up. Having a loved one help out with chores and keeping an eye out for any complications that may appear is important.

When should I visit my doctor after taking Mifepristone or Misoprostol?

Complications occur in less than 1% of cases of medication abortions. While nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea may appear, these usually resolve on their own and do not need medical attention.

Although rare, there are cases where you should visit your doctor to avoid any possible complications. This includes very heavy bleeding or allergies to medication.

  • If you have excessive bleeding and soak through two menstrual pads an hour for more than two hours, contact your healthcare provider.
  • If you experience itching or hives, contact your healthcare provider.
  • If you have facial swelling or difficulty breathing after taking the medications, call 911 immediately.

Who should not take Mifepristone and Misoprostol?

Talk to your doctor about the alternative options to medication abortion in case your pregnancy is at more than 11 weeks of gestation or if:

  • You have a pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
  • You have medical issues with kidney glands
  • You are currently taking corticosteroid medications
  • You’ve had an allergic reaction to Mifepristone, Misoprostol, or similar medication
  • You have bleeding problems or are taking blood-thinning medications or products
  • You have an IUD (intrauterine device) - it must be removed before having a medication abortion

Medication Abortion Under the Guidance of Life Cycle for Women

We are committed to supporting you throughout your reproductive health journey, and we stand against discrimination of any kind. Your decisions and experiences are valuable, and we want you to know that you are part of a community that cares. Our medication abortion process guides you on the path to access the needed medicines.

At #LC4W, we understand that choosing to have an abortion can be a deeply personal and complex decision. Our dedicated team is committed to providing a supportive and judgment-free environment where you can feel seen, heard, and respected.

Get started today.
Partnered with Honeybee for Pharmacy services.
Ordering and Crisis Hotline
Available 24/7
Get Started
The clinical services offered through this website are provided by AB Telemedicine Care, LLC, an independent, physician-owned entity, and are delivered by licensed providers.
Contact Us
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram