The abortion pill is also known as a medical abortion. There are two main types of abortions: medical abortions and surgical abortions. A medical abortion may be commonly called “the abortion pill” but it involves taking two types of abortion pills. These pills will terminate a pregnancy, and are not the same as what is commonly known as the “morning-after pill” or Plan B, which is designed to prevent pregnancy.
The first pill that you will take is mifepristone. The second is misoprostol (also known as Cytotec). The use of the two medications together increase the effectiveness of the abortion, and can reduce the duration of side effects.
You can obtain these medications through doctors and clinics that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood. You should never buy them online or on the black market. The cost of the medication depends on location and additional tests or follow-ups that may be necessary. According to Planned Parenthood, abortion procedures can cost up to $800. However, this cost fluctuates depending on the area where you live.
Who is eligible for the abortion pill?
Women who are under 10 weeks into their pregnancy are eligible to take the abortion pill. After 10 weeks, women who wish to terminate their pregnancy may opt for a surgical abortion.
Women with pre-existing medical conditions may not be eligible to take the abortion pill. Women who cannot receive the abortion pill include:
- women who are not willing to have an aspiration (surgical abortion) if the pill is not effective.
- women with an ectopic pregnancy or mass on their ovaries
- women on long-term corticosteroids
- women with certain genetic diseases
- women who are not able to understand the procedure or how to follow the directions
- women who will not have access to emergent medical treatment and facilities
- women who have a molar pregnancy, in which the placenta develops abnormally
- women who have heart, kidney, or liver problems
- women with severe adrenal gland problems
- women who currently have an IUD (though you can take the pill upon its removal)
- women with bleeding disorders, or those who are taking anticlotting medications
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Abortion Pill?
Alcohol often has harmful interactions with prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and even some herbal remedies. Alcohol interactions with medications may cause problems as a result, alcohol should be avoided during the treatment to avoid affecting the efficiency of the medication.
Alcohol may also cause increased uterine bleeding in some cases and decrease the effectiveness of other medicines taken to reduce pain or infection (for women dealing with complications). In general, it is recommended to avoid alcohol until you confirm the abortion is complete and you are feeling in good health.
Generally, it is advised that you don’t drink alcohol for 48 hours after taking abortion pill and that you don’t drink alcohol if you are taking antibiotics. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using the medication (mifepristone) unless your health care professional says you may do so safely.
How does a medication abortion feel?
For most people, medication abortion feels like having an early miscarriage. You might have:
- lots of cramping and aches in your belly
- very heavy bleeding with large clots (If you don’t have any bleeding within 24 hours after taking the second medicine, misoprostol, call your nurse or doctor.)
- an upset stomach and vomiting (Your doctor or nurse may give you medicine to help with nausea.)
- mild fever (99-100° F) or chills on the day you take the misoprostol (If you have a fever after the day you take the misoprostol pills, call your doctor or health center right away.)
To help ease pain and make you more comfortable, you can:
Take pain medication like ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Don’t take aspirin because it can make your bleeding worse.
Put a heating pad or hot water bottle on your belly.
- Take a shower.
- Sit on the toilet.
- Have someone rub your back.