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Therapeutic Abortion: Medical
(Abortion; Mifeprex; Mifepristone; RU-486)
|Female Reproductive Organs|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Preserve the mother’s physical and mental health
- End a pregnancy that tests have shown would result in a child with severe abnormalities
- Allergic reaction
- Heavy bleeding
- Incomplete procedure
- A missed period
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased sensitivity to odors
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Examine you to determine the stage of your pregnancy by checking the size of the uterus
- Do blood and urine tests to confirm the pregnancy
- Use ultrasound to give an accurate assessment of the stage of pregnancy
Description of Procedure
- First, you take a medicine in your doctor's office. The medicine stops the pregnancy. Depending on the medicine used, it may be given by mouth, as a shot, or it may be inserted into the vagina.
- The first step is often followed by giving another type of medicine 1-3 days later.
- Lastly, your doctor makes sure the procedure is complete by doing an ultrasound or a blood test.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Feel dizzy
- Have strong cramps
- Feel nauseous
- Have temporary abdominal pain
- Have temporary mild fever or chills
- You may have cramps and bleeding.
- You may also have nausea and diarrhea .
- You should not douche or use vaginal medicines until your doctor allows it.
- You can shower or bathe.
- Do not have sex for at least one week.
- You should recover within a couple of days.
- Make sure you return to see your doctor for follow-up.
Call Your Doctor
- Increasing abdominal pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding (greater than one pad per hour)
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. http://www.plannedparenthood.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Medical abortion. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/medicalabortions.html . Updated December 2011. Accessed December 17, 2012.
Medical abortion. Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region website. Available at: http://www.rqhealth.ca/programs/in%5Fhospital%5Fcare/womens%5Fhealth/therapeutic.shtml . Accessed December 17, 2012.
What is medical abortion? National Abortion Federation website. Available at: http://www.prochoice.org/about%5Fabortion/facts/medical%5Fabortion.html . Updated September 2008. Accessed December 17, 2012.
What you need to know: The difference between medical abortion and emergency contraceptive pills. Association of Reproductive Health Professionals website. Available at: http://www.arhp.org/factsheets/mifepristone%5Fec.cfm . Updated December 2010. Accessed December 17, 2012.
1/11/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Robson SC, Kelly T, Deverill M, et al. Randomised preference trial of medical versus surgical termination of pregnancy less than 14 weeks' gestation (TOPS). Health Technol Assess . 2009;13(53):1-124.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013