The abortion pill allows women to have an abortion at home. It’s often advertised as an easy process, but the reality isn’t so simple. Before taking the abortion pill, it’s important to understand what a self-managed abortion is and how it can affect you.
If you are considering a self-induced abortion, this blog is a great place to start. We’ll show you what to expect from the abortion process. You’ll also learn about the risks and side effects involved so you can make an informed decision about your body and pregnancy.
What is a self-managed abortion?
A self-managed abortion is any abortion procedure that happens without the help of a medical professional, including:
- Using herbal or natural remedies
- Taking mifepristone and/or misoprostol (the medications used in the abortion pill regimen)
- Using instruments to induce an abortion, also known as “coat-hanger abortions”
Typically, a self-induced abortion refers to the use of the abortion pill to end a pregnancy. You might also see it called a chemical abortion or medication abortion.
How does the abortion pill work?
Most of the time, the abortion pill uses two medications called mifepristone and misoprostol. It might only require misoprostol as well.
First, you take mifepristone to prevent oxygen and nutrients from reaching the embryo. This medication will end your pregnancy, typically within about 72 hours.
If you change your mind after taking mifepristone, you may be able to reverse the abortion by calling the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline. It’s crucial to call the hotline as soon as you change your mind, which increases the chances of success. You must start the reversal process before taking misoprostol.
For the next step of a chemical abortion, you take misoprostol to induce uterine cramping. You will experience heavy bleeding and cramps as your body passes the pregnancy tissue and embryo out of your uterus.
The two-pill regimen ends your pregnancy before you pass the tissue. If you only take misoprostol, your pregnancy will end when the embryo leaves your body.
What are the risks of a self-induced abortion?
Every medical procedure carries risks, especially when it happens at home and without medical assistance.
As researchers have tracked abortion pill use and complications, they’ve uncovered the following concerns:
- The risk of complications (including infection, hemorrhaging, and incomplete abortions) is four times higher with the abortion pill than it is with a surgical abortion
- The same study found that around 1 in every 5 women who take the abortion pill will suffer complications
- Emergency room visits for medication abortions increased by more than 500% between 2002 and 2015
Additionally, some women receive the abortion pill through the mail after ordering it online. The FDA has identified several websites that sell fake abortion pills. If you don’t get the medication directly from a doctor, you may take an unknown, and potentially dangerous, medicine instead. This can lead to additional complications.
Finally, most women have a chemical abortion alone in their homes. Without the immediate support of a medical professional, you may:
- Fail to recognize the severity of your symptoms, leading to more serious complications
- Have to find transportation to the emergency room for treatment or assistance
- Struggle to reach a clinic or doctor when you need help
- Experience heightened anxiety or distress if you aren’t prepared for the process
Self-managed abortions aren’t as simple as taking a pill. Make sure you understand your risks and what to expect from the process before taking the medication.
Are self-managed or medication abortions safe?
There are three main concerns for women who take the abortion pill. If you are too far along, have an ectopic pregnancy, or the abortion is incomplete, your life may be at risk.
The FDA has only approved the abortion pill for use through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Having a chemical abortion after this point increases the risk of complications. There’s also a higher chance of a failed abortion. Before getting an abortion, you should get a pregnancy ultrasound to accurately determine how far along you are.
Ectopic pregnancies are the most serious concern with the abortion pill. In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants somewhere outside of your uterus, such as the fallopian tube.
A medication abortion will terminate the pregnancy, but it won’t remove the embryo from your body. You may develop a life-threatening infection or suffer internal bleeding if the embryo isn’t removed or you experience a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
An ultrasound is the only way to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, so it’s crucial to get one before taking the abortion pill.
Incomplete abortions are another risk. If any tissue remains in your uterus after the self-managed abortion, you may have severe bleeding or develop an infection known as sepsis. You will then have to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the remaining tissue.
Get the answers you need at Thrive Orlando.
Self-managed abortions aren’t simple or easy. As you can see, there are many risks and complications you need to consider before taking the abortion pill. At our clinic, our medical professionals will help you understand how a self-induced abortion works. You can ask every question and explore every concern. You deserve to feel at peace and confident about your pregnancy decisions.
Make an appointment today to get the information you need.