What is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill should not be confused with the morning after pill as it is intended for use within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy whereas the morning after pill should only be used within 3 to 5 days after intercourse. The abortion pill, mifepristone and misoprostol, is an approved pregnancy termination method in South Africa and can only be prescribed by a medical doctor.

How does an Abortion Pill work?

Both abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, are usually used in order to terminate a pregnancy. Mifepristone causes the embryo to detach from the uterus thereby cutting off essential nutrients and oxygen carried by the blood. Misoprostol is then taken two days later and triggers the evacuation of the embryo remnants through the vagina. This often appears as a heavy period.

It is advisable that you consult with your medical practitioner for a further understanding of how the abortion pill works.

Is the Abortion Pill safe?

The abortion pill is usually safer than a medical abortion or surgical abortion but should only be considered in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Like any procedure, use of the abortion pill can result in complications but if used under the supervision of a medical doctor, the chances of complications are greatly reduced. Your doctor will be best suited to handle any complications should they arise.

Dangers and Side Effects of the Abortion Pill

Common side effects include abdominal pain, cramping, bleeding and spotting for up to 2 weeks after using the abortion pill. Other side effects that may occur include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and fevers. Side effects may not occur in every case and if you are experiencing any symptoms that are persisting, you should consult with your medical doctor immediately.

The abortion pill may cause a disturbance in your normal menstrual cycle in some users but usually there are no significant dangers associated with using the abortion pill. However using the abortion pill without the supervision of a medical practitioner or after 8 weeks of pregnancy can be dangerous. Uncontrollable bleeding, severe cramping and infections can arise without correct supervision and for this reason, you should never buy or use the abortion pill from illegal sources.

Always consult with your doctor or a qualified staff at a family planning clinic before you commence with any abortion method.

48 thoughts on “What is the Abortion Pill?

  • February 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Concerned

    It may seem like you are getting your period but it is not an actual period. Just a slight bleed at the time around that of your regular period. So yes, you could be pregnant. However this may only happen in some women in the first month or two.

    If you have a very regular cycle and now notice that it is late, then you should do a pregnancy test immediately. However there are other causes for missing a period besides pregnancy – read this article on Missed Periods. On the other hand you may not be pregnant and just experiencing a change in your menstrual cycle. Refer to this article on Abnormal Periods.

  • February 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Worried

    Usually after 8 to 9 weeks you will not qualify for just the abortion pill and surgical methods will be necessary. You need to first confirm that you are pregnant.

  • February 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Is it too ;ate for the abortion pill as well? and if not how much of time do i have left?

  • February 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Worried

    First you need to confirm that you are pregnant. Take the pregnancy test again. Remember to use your morning urine. If it is positive then you will have to consider your options. An abortion is your other choice because it is too late for emergency contraceptives like the morning after pill. Remember that stress can upset your periods or lead to abnormal periods.

  • February 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    So is there a way of forcing your periods? i has sex 2 months ago on the 8th of december. i had my periods on the 25th of january and now this month i am 6 days late already? im really worrying and i cant get the pills either without both our parents knowing about it. if they find out our relationship would be over. could i be pregnant? last month when i got my periods it eas a full 5 day period and when i took a preg test, the test remained blank with no answer i dint know what to do.please help

  • February 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Hi Worried

    No there is no pill among your oral contraceptives that makes you get your period. The contraceptive pill works by administering doses of hormones like oestrogen into the blood stream. This ‘tricks’ the body into believing that you are pregnant so ovulation will not occur. When you start taking your placebo pills, the oestrogen levels then drop. The body’s triggers a ‘period’. Using a placebo pill cannot trigger a period on its own.

  • February 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

    i was told that in the contracetive pills, there is a pill that makes you get your periods. what will happen if you have this pill that makes you get your period while pregnant? will you miscarry???

  • January 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Hi Unsure

    If you had sex within the time of your period, then it is very unlikely that you would fall pregnant. The bleeding a week later could very likely be as result of the morning after pill and not another period. If it appears to be a period, then you are suffering with abnormal periods and you need to consult with a doctor to find out why your menstrual cycle has changed in this manner – most likely due to the morning after pill.

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