How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

Although it’s referred to as a pill (singular), the abortion pill actually consists of two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone is taken first, usually in a clinic. This medication cuts the supply of the hormone progesterone to the embryo, which is needed to maintain the pregnancy. Without a steady supply of progesterone, the embryo stops growing.

Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours later at home. This medication causes the uterus to contract and expel the fetus, which ends the pregnancy.

How Late Can You Take the Abortion Pill?

You can’t take the abortion pill beyond 10 weeks of pregnancy (or 70 days since the first day of your last menstrual period)[1]. This is because it becomes less effective the farther along you are. If you take the abortion pill later on in your pregnancy, you could experience serious complications like an incomplete abortion and may need emergency surgery to complete the procedure or stop heavy bleeding.

Do I Need an Ultrasound Before Taking the Abortion Pill?

The answer is that ultrasounds provide the insight needed to make an informed and empowered decision about your pregnancy. Ultrasounds help determine two key things about your pregnancy: viability and gestational age.

What is Pregnancy Viability?

A viable pregnancy means that the pregnancy is progressing properly. For example, at about six weeks, the embryo should have a visible heartbeat. One of the goals of an ultrasound is to rule out a nonviable pregnancy, such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy – in either case, abortion may be dangerous and is not needed.

What is Gestational Age?

Before spending your money only to find out you aren’t eligible for abortion, schedule a free ultrasound at ThriVe Savannah! It’s important to know how far along you are (also known as your gestational age), as Georgia law prohibits abortion beyond 6 weeks. If you intend to travel out of state for an abortion, be aware that the surrounding areas may prohibit abortion beyond a certain point in your pregnancy as well. Additionally, The abortion pill has been approved by the FDA to be taken up until the 10th week of pregnancy (or 70 days since the first day of your last menstrual period). Although, it is not recommended and could be dangerous to take the abortion pill past 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Before spending your money only to find out you aren’t eligible for abortion, consider receiving a free ultrasound at ThriVe® Savannah! If your ultrasound determines that you’re too far along for abortion, our compassionate client advocates will help you explore all of your pregnancy options, so you can make the best choice for your health and future!

Do I Need a Prescription for the Abortion Pill? Can I Get the Abortion Pill Over the Counter?

Certain pharmacies are now authorized to sell the abortion pill over the counter. However, the FDA requires a prescription from a qualified physician in order to take it[1].

Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?

The FDA advises against ordering the abortion pill online. Many online abortion pill providers are located overseas, so the pills they provide may not meet FDA standards[1]. These pills could be counterfeit, expired, or even tampered with! It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid ordering the abortion pill online.

Abortion Pill Information in Savannah, Georgia

When those two lines first appear, it can be easy to panic. Don’t let fear make the final decision for you! Get the care and support you deserve at ThriVe® Savannah! We offer free pregnancy resources, so you can make an empowered decision for your unplanned pregnancy:

 

  • Free pregnancy tests
  • Free ultrasounds to determine viability & gestational age
  • A safe, non-judgmental place to explore your pregnancy options and share what’s on your mind

Sources

  1. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2023, January 24). Mifeprex (Mifepristone). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information
  2. STATE ABORTION LAW
  3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, September 3). Slide Show: Fetal Ultrasound. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/multimedia/fetal-ultrasound/sls-20076294?s=3# 
: