Medication Abortion

A medical abortion is one that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy.  A medical abortion uses two medications to end a pregnancy. The first medication, Mifepristone, weakens the attachment of the pregnancy to the uterus. The second makes the uterus cramp and causes bleeding, which expels the pregnancy. A woman can be up to 70 days or 10 weeks 0 days pregnant to receive a medication abortion. The process can be completed with only one visit to our clinic in Fargo.

Mifepristone is taken in the form of a pill. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is necessary to sustain pregnancy. Without this hormone, the pregnancy detaches from the uterine wall, the cervix (opening of the uterus) softens, and some uterine cramping can begin.

Within a few days after taking Mifepristone, a second drug, misoprostol, is taken.
Misoprostol tablets, which are taken orally, cause the uterus to contract and empty.

You will take the first medication at our clinic. It is not unusual to have some spotting or bleeding after the first medication but the procedure is not complete.

We will send you home with a second medication that you will take 24-48 hours (whichever is most convenient) after taking the Mifepristone. These pills start the miscarriage like process where you will pass the pregnancy at home. Within a few hours of taking the medication, you will probably start to have strong cramps and bleeding, similar to a heavy period. Pain medicine or a heating pad can help with the cramps. You may also have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, or feel tired. These symptoms usually last a short time and stop on their own. It is a good idea to have a support person with you when you are passing the pregnancy. You should be prepared to be at home, not working or driving, when you take the second medication. Most women describe the process as seeming like a miscarriage.


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- Red River Women's Clinic Patient