What Is The Early Abortion Pill?

The early abortion pill is a medication that can be taken to end a pregnancy.

Terminating An Early Pregnancy; What Medications Can Be Used

If you have an early pregnancy and are considering termination, a few different medication options are available.


One option is the abortion pill, also known as RU-486 (Mifeprex) or mifepristone. It blocks the hormone progesterone, which is essential for carrying a pregnancy to term. The absence of progesterone causes the uterine lining to deteriorate, leading to the loss of the pregnancy.[1] The abortion pill is typically taken within the first seven weeks of pregnancy and can be taken at home or clinic.


Another option is misoprostol, which is also known as Cytotec. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin that causes uterine contractions, expelling the pregnancy tissue. It can be used either alone or in conjunction with mifepristone. [2] Misoprostol is typically taken 24-48 hours after mifepristone and can also be taken at home or a clinic.

If you are considering terminating an early pregnancy, it’s worthwhile to talk to your healthcare provider to discuss your options and what would be best for you.

Mifeprex Uses

Mifeprex is a medication that can be used to terminate a pregnancy. It is a pill that is taken by mouth. Mifeprex is effective because it prevents the body from producing the hormone progesterone, which is essential to maintaining a pregnancy. You can take Mifeprex up to 10 weeks (70 days) after your previous menstruation. [3] 

If you are considering taking Mifeprex, it is essential to understand how it works and its potential side effects. 

Does Mifeprex Interact With Other Drugs You Are Taking?

The effectiveness of your medicines might be altered, and you could be at greater risk for adverse reactions if they interact with one another. Never adjust the dose of any medication you take without consulting your doctor.

Mifeprex interactions are possible with the following: [4] 

  • Long-term corticosteroid therapy (such as prednisone)
  • Azole antifungals like itraconazole/ketoconazole
  • Macrolide antibiotics like erythromycin, dexamethasone, rifamycins 
  • St. John’s wort
  • Certain anti-seizure medicines like carbamazepine

Taking aspirin with this medicine raises the risk of bleeding. However, if your doctor has prescribed low-dose aspirin for stroke or heart attack prevention (about 81-162 mg a day), you should keep taking it until your doctor tells you to stop. [5] Effects of other drugs may be diminished by mifepristone because of the drug’s ability to delay their elimination from the body. Cyclosporine, ergot alkaloids (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergotamine), fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, some statin pharmaceuticals (e.g., fluvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin), sirolimus, tacrolimus, warfarin, and others are all examples of medications that are impacted.

Abortion Preparations

A doctor will review your medical history to determine the viability of medical abortion. Also, they need to discuss the procedure’s benefits and drawbacks with you. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the process, feel free to voice them.

If you go ahead and make an in-person appointment with a doctor, they will want to be sure you’re pregnant before they do anything else. They will also determine the length of your pregnancy if you are pregnant. An ultrasound is a kind of imaging exam that may require you. This is a legal requirement in several jurisdictions for reasons unrelated to health.

Additionally, the doctor could ask for a blood test and STD test. [6] 

Pregnancy prevention options following an abortion should be discussed.

There is a waiting period of up to 24 hours between the prenatal visit and the abortion procedure in certain places. [7] Getting an abortion on the same day is a possibility in some states.

How To Use Medicines To Terminate An Early Pregnancy

If you have decided to end an early pregnancy, there are a few different ways. One option is to take certain medicines that will cause the pregnancy to terminate.

Mifepristone and misoprostol are the two primary drugs used for early abortion. The first pill, mifepristone, is taken initially, followed by the second pill, misoprostol, 24-48 hours later. Both of these medicines are available at most pharmacies. [8] 

  • To use these medicines, you will need to see a doctor or nurse who can prescribe them. 
  • Once you have the medicines, take the mifepristone as directed by your healthcare provider. 
  • Then, 24-48 hours later, take the misoprostol as directed.
  • After taking the misoprostol, you will likely experience cramping and bleeding. This is normal and is a sign that the pregnancy is terminating. 
  • The cramping and bleeding usually last a few hours to a few days.

If you have questions or concerns about taking these medicines, speak with your healthcare provider. They can help you understand what to expect and provide support throughout the process.

Precautions For Abortion Termination With Pills

The abortion pill is a safe and successful method of terminating a pregnancy in its early stages. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before taking the pill. Consult your healthcare provider to see if the abortion pill is right for you.

There are a few precautions that you should take when taking the abortion pill. 

  • First, you should ensure you are not allergic to any ingredients in the pill. 
  • Second, you should make sure that you are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Third, you should ensure that you have a friend or family member with you when you take the pill. 
  • Finally, you should follow all of the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider.

Are There Any Risks Involved?

A few potential risks are associated with taking the abortion pill, but they are generally rare and not severe. [9] These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fever

In rare cases, more severe complications can occur, such as:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the medication

The abortion pill is safe and effective, and complications are rare. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor.

What Can You Expect After A Medical Abortion?

After a medical abortion, you can experience some bleeding and cramping. This is normal and is part of the process of your body expelling the pregnancy tissue. Bleeding may last a few days to a week, and you may also have some spotting or light bleeding for up to four weeks.

It is important to rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous activity during this time. You should avoid inserting anything into your vagina, such as tampons, for at least two weeks following the abortion. This will help to prevent infection.

Please speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions about what to expect after a medical abortion.

Birth Control After Abortion; What’s The Best Method?

There are many different methods of contraception available, and it can be confusing to know which one is right for you after you’ve had an abortion. The best form of contraception for you will depend on your circumstances.

Your options for contraception after an abortion include the following:

  1. Hormonal methods such as the pill, patches, or ring
  2. Progestin-only pills
  3. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or the implant
  4. Barrier methods such as the diaphragm, cervical cap, or condoms

Talk to your healthcare provider about which form of contraception would be best for you. They will consider your age, health history, and lifestyle when making a recommendation.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible For Medical Abortion?

If you are considering having a medical abortion, you must consult your healthcare provider to ensure eligibility. To be eligible for a medical abortion, you must:

  • Be within the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Be able to obtain and take the necessary medication
  • Have access to reliable transportation in case of complications
  • Have someone available to assist you during and after the procedure, if needed

Your healthcare provider must also confirm that you are not at risk for specific medical conditions that could complicate or prohibit a medical abortion. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Anemia
  • Cardiac disease
  • Cervical cancer
  • Fibroids
  • Severe hypertension
  • Sickle cell disease

Cost Of Abortion Pill In The USA

In the United States, the abortion pill may cost anywhere from $300 to $800, depending on the state and the specific medication being used. [10]

Abortion pills come in two primary varieties: mifepristone (trade name Mifeprex) and misoprostol (trade name Cytotec). The average cost of Mifeprex is $600, while the average price of Cytotec is $350. If you are considering having an abortion, make sure you understand your options and what they entail. Having an abortion is a very personal decision, and there is no right or wrong answer. However, it is essential to be informed about all of your options before making a decision. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with your local Planned Parenthood or other reproductive health care provider.

Sex After Abortion. Is It Safe?

Having an abortion can be a difficult and emotionally taxing experience. You may feel relief after the procedure but also feel guilty, regretful, or have other mixed emotions. Many women worry about whether or not it is safe to have sex after an abortion.

The good news is that there is no medical reason why you cannot have sex after an abortion. Some doctors even recommend that you have sex as a way to help cope with the emotions you may be feeling. Know, however, that everyone copes with things differently. Just because your friend had sex a week after her abortion does not mean you have to do the same thing. Take the time you need to heal physically and emotionally before engaging in sexual activity.

If you do choose to have sex, make sure to use birth control. It is possible to get pregnant again immediately after an abortion, so using contraception is crucial if you are not ready to have another child. Talk to your doctor about what form of birth control would be best for you.

If you are having trouble coping with your emotions or dealing with the physical aftereffects of your abortion, talk to your doctor or a counselor.

Legality Of Abortion Pills In the USA

Abortion has not been completely banned in the USA. There are some states in which it is still legal in all conditions, and there are other states in which abortion is legal but only under certain circumstances, like in cases of rape, incest, abuse, or when the mother’s life is in danger. In contrast, some states, like Texas, have entirely banned abortions. The same rules regulate abortions performed by medical professionals as surgical abortions. However, state regulations are different.

It is the responsibility of abortion providers to adhere to the regulations set out by the jurisdictions in which they are licensed. They might lose their license and be subject to criminal and civil fines if they disobey such laws.

Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, argues that people of color and low-income individuals are disproportionately affected by laws that limit abortion drugs, mifepristone, and misoprostol.

(Written by Dr. Ebad Khan) 



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  2. Raymond, E. G., Harrison, M. S., & Weaver, M. A. (2019, January). Efficacy of misoprostol alone for first-Trimester medical abortion: A systematic review. Obstetrics and Gynecology. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6309472/#:~:text=Misoprostol%20alone%20is%20effective%20and,in%20the%20late%20first%20trimester.
  3. MD;, H. J. K. L. P. A. T. J. C. (2019). Medical abortion with mifepristone and vaginal misoprostol between 64 and 70 days’ Gustavo. Contraception. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31102629/.
  4. WebMD. (n.d.). Mifeprex Oral: Uses, side effects, interactions, pictures, warnings & dosing. WebMD. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-20225/mifeprex-oral/details.
  5. RxList. (n.d.). Aspirin oral and mifepristone oral drug interactions. RxList. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.rxlist.com/drug-interactions/aspirin-oral-and-mifepristone-oral-interaction.htm.
  6. Should you be tested for an STD/STI before you have an abortion? PRC Clinics of SWFL. (2020, January 10). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.prcnaples.org/knowledge-base/should-you-be-tested-for-an-std-sti-before-you-have-an-abortion/.
  7. Counseling and waiting periods for abortion. Guttmacher Institute. (2022, September 27). Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/counseling-and-waiting-periods-abortion.
  8. NHS.UK. (2020, April). What Happens During Abortion. NHS choices. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/abortion/what-happens/#:~:text=Medical%20abortion%20involves%20taking%202,you%20take%20the%20second%20medicine.
  9. Rath, S., Mishra, S., Tripathy, R., Dash, S., & Panda, B. (2021, November 18). Analysis of complications and management after self-administration of medical termination of pregnancy pills. Cureus. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8684582/.
  10. Parenthood, P. (n.d.). How much does the abortion pill cost? Planned Parenthood. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill/how-much-does-abortion-pill-cost#:~:text=The%20cost%20of%20the%20abortion,Planned%20Parenthood%20is%20around%20%24580.