At-Home Abortion Information

There are many terms used for an At-Home Abortion: chemical, online, self-induced, self-managed, the abortion pill, or medication abortion. It is important to be informed about the process, its side effects, and how to reverse the process if you change your mind. Vida does not provide or refer for abortion pills.

It is a two-step process for the pregnant woman wanting to end her pregnancy. The first step is taking a drug called Mifepristone (also known as Mifeprex or RU-486,) which blocks the progesterone in the woman’s body needed for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus, sustain, and nurture the pregnancy.  The second drug called Misoprostol (aka Cytotec) is taken 24-48 hours later causing the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. These chemicals are taken up to 70 days (10 weeks) into a pregnancy. It is important to have the pregnancy medically verified by having an ultrasound done by a medical professional. Ultrasound measures gestational age (how far along you are,) determines location, and shows the rate or absence of fetal heartbeat. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. If the pregnancy is located outside of the uterus, this is an ectopic pregnancy, and can be life-threatening to the woman. Taking these drugs when the pregnancy is beyond the 70 days (10 weeks) may be ineffective or may leave behind tissue that can lead to infection. There is no way to know this information without having it medically verified through an ultrasound performed by a medical professional.

As with any medication, there are risks and side-effects, which can range from mild to severe.  The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warns about taking these drugs without medical supervision and has even put a black box warning on them, which is the highest level of precaution. Buying medications over the internet will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health. 

Common side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headache, cramping or pain, and bleeding heavier than a normal period. It is important to know beforehand how to handle severe symptoms and where to go for medical intervention.  Heavy bleeding, severe or intense abdominal pain, faintness, and/or fever will require immediate medical attention. Bleeding & spotting is likely to last from two to four weeks afterwards. If any tissue of the pregnancy is not expelled from the woman’s uterus, this can lead to infection and potentially cause a reaction throughout the body, which can be deadly. Tissue left in the uterus will require a surgical procedure to remove it. Any scarring from infection or a surgical procedure may affect future fertility making it difficult or impossible to get pregnant in the future. 

Schedule an appointment with Vida Medical Clinic and Support Services here to get free pregnancy testing and confirm a pregnancy.

Testing is quick, easy and the result is immediately interpreted by a nurse. Ultrasounds are performed after a positive test result to confirm the pregnancy. The ultrasound may be performed on the same date as the pregnancy test or scheduled for a later date which is determined by the nurse and your health history.

After taking one or both or the medications used for a chemical abortion, some feel regret, worry for their safety, or feel pressured to continue the process. It may not be too late to reverse the process and you always have the choice to change your mind.  Reversing the process is a medically supervised regimen of progesterone replacement that is most successful if begun within 24-72 hours after taking the first drug. Initial studies have shown a 64-68% success rate.  Even if more than 72 hours have passed, it may not be too late and there is help.

Contact or call 1-877-558-0333 to talk to someone and to be connected to the nearest provider in your area.

If you change your mind after beginning the abortion pill process, it may not be too late. There is hope with abortion pill reversal. Contact or call 1-877-558-0333 to talk to someone and to be connected to the nearest provider in your area.

Why do I need to see a doctor in person before taking the abortion pill?

Having a medical provider perform a pregnancy test and ultrasound can only be done in person. These tests will give important medical information such as location of the pregnancy, gestational age, and determine if the pregnancy will continue to progress or end in miscarriage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Some side effects of the abortion pill can mirror symptoms of ectopic or tubal pregnancy, which is life-threatening, and can lead to death without immediate medical intervention.

Is chemical abortion safe without medical supervision?

Potential side effects after taking the abortion pill can include heavy and prolonged bleeding, intense pain, infection, fever, incomplete abortion, and even death. If complications occur, the woman is usually home and potentially alone without medical intervention immediately available.

Is it necessary to have an ultrasound before an abortion?

Ectopic or tubal pregnancy is one that is not located in the woman’s uterus and is a medical emergency. Having an ultrasound is essential to show the location and gestational age of the pregnancy. It also shows if the pregnancy will end in miscarriage. Failure to get help for an ectopic pregnancy can lead to rapid bleeding in your abdomen from a ruptured internal organ, shock, or even death.