When you are facing the big decisions you must make about your unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to understand all of your options fully.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet, particularly about the abortion pill.

You should always be aware of the risks involved with any medication you take and the abortion pill regimen is no exception. In this blog, we’ll walk you through some of the risks of getting the abortion pill by mail without seeing a medical professional in person.

Understanding the risks of getting the abortion pill by mail

A medicine abortion uses two pills. The first medication, mifepristone, is what is most commonly known as the “abortion pill.” 

When a pregnant woman takes this medicine, it blocks her body’s progesterone production. Without this hormone, the uterus will stop supplying nutrients to the embryo and begin to shed its lining, similar to a period.

The second pill, misoprostol, helps the uterus expel its contents, inducing cramping and heavy bleeding.

The FDA approved the abortion pill for at-home use, but it’s important to know what to expect before taking this regimen.

Side Effects of the Abortion Pill

Typically, women who get a chemical abortion report these side effects:

  • Bleeding, often heavy at first, that may last for a few days or weeks
  • Nausea
  • Strong cramps
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fever or chills

Dealing with these side effects at home without a doctor present can be scary. If you experience more serious symptoms, such as the ones below, your life may be at risk.

 Before you order the abortion pill by mail, make sure you understand the potential risks.

You may be farther along than you think

The FDA has approved the abortion pill regimen through up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. If you are past this point in your pregnancy, the risk of potential complications from taking the abortion pill increases.

It’s important to get an ultrasound before taking the abortion pill to make sure you aren’t too far along. Using an ultrasound to measure the embryo and your pregnancy is the only reliable way to know how far along you are. 

If you rely on the date of your last menstrual period to determine your stage of pregnancy, you may be off by days or weeks. Having an irregular period or ovulating earlier than expected, for instance, can throw this number off. 

You may have also had bleeding from the implantation and falsely assumed that it was your period. In this case, you may be several weeks further in your pregnancy, and at higher risk for complications, than you think.

You may not receive a FDA-approved abortion pill regimen

In 2019, the FDA took legal action against a company that was mailing mifepristone and misoprostol to women seeking a medicine abortion. Though the company claimed the pills they offered were legit, they weren’t using FDA-approved drugs.

When you get the abortion pill by mail, you can’t guarantee that the medicines you receive meet FDA standards. The pills might even come from foreign countries where the FDA can’t monitor the processes and ingredients used.

A chemical abortion already carries several side effects and potential health risks. Avoid ordering the abortion pill online to prevent any additional dangers that may come from using an unapproved drug.

 

You may have an ectopic pregnancy

There are two ways that the abortion pill regimen may fail.

Up to 5% of pregnancies are ectopic pregnancies. In these cases, the embryo implants outside of the uterus, often in the fallopian tube. If it isn’t removed and the pregnancy ruptures, the woman is at serious risk of infection and death.

If you take the abortion pill while experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, it will terminate the pregnancy but it won’t remove the embryo. According to the FDA, you may then develop sepsis, a severe blood infection that causes organ failure and tissue damage. Sepsis kills nearly 250,000 Americans each year.

The only way to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy is through an ultrasound. Once a medical professional can locate the embryo, they will then determine the best way to remove it before the woman’s life is at risk.

You may experience serious, life-threatening complications

Along with the side effects listed above, the abortion pill regimen can also cause life-threatening complications.

Your body may not fully expel the embryo, which can cause heavy bleeding and sepsis if left untreated. You will need to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the rest of the embryo.

According to the FDA, 24 women have died from sepsis infections after taking the abortion pill. Thousands more have experienced severe complications and/or been hospitalized because of a chemical abortion.

Protect yourself by getting more information about medicine abortions and your risks before getting the abortion pill by mail.
Considering the abortion pill for your unplanned pregnancy? Make an appointment today to get a free ultrasound, STD testing, and the chance to learn more about all of your options.