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What is the Abortion Pill?

An unexpected pregnancy can rip the rug out from under you. It can be easy to make a snap decision out of fear, but it’s crucial to ask questions and get all the facts on your options to protect your health!


Today, we’re answering some frequently asked questions about the abortion pill, so you can make a confident, educated decision regarding your unexpected pregnancy!



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 blocks 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 and may need emergency surgery to complete the procedure.


Do I Need an Ultrasound Before Taking the Abortion Pill? Is Abortion Legal in Montana?

Montana law doesn’t require you to receive an ultrasound prior to an abortion, but we strongly encourage it!


The reason is that ultrasounds can help you protect your health and determine if abortion is an option for you. They determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. This is important to know, as Montana abortion law prohibits abortion once your pregnancy reaches viability[2], usually around 24 weeks. The abortion pill has an even smaller window of about 10 weeks[3]. Knowing how far along you are is the first step in creating a plan for your unexpected pregnancy!


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

The FDA requires a prescription from a qualified physician in order to take the abortion pill for your personal safety (more on that in a moment!)[3]. The abortion pill can’t be purchased over the counter for this reason.


Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?

The FDA warns against ordering the abortion pill online, as it bypasses safety regulations designed to keep you safe. Many online abortion pill providers are located overseas, so the pills they provide may not be FDA-approved[3]. These pills could be fake, expired, or even laced with harmful substances! It’s best to speak to a licensed medical professional first!


What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

Like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with the abortion pill, including:


  • Allergic reaction. Although rare, it is possible to go into anaphylactic shock after taking vaginal misoprostol if you’re allergic to any ingredients in the medication[5].


  • Hemorrhaging. It’s normal to bleed for a while after taking the abortion pill. However, if you soak through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour, for two or more hours, you could be hemorrhaging and should seek immediate medical attention[6].


  • Incomplete abortion. Incomplete abortions occur when some pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus after misoprostol has been taken. Emergency surgery may be needed to remove the remaining tissue and prevent infection[7].


  • Infection. If you experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever for more than 24 hours after taking the second medication, an infection may have developed. You may need antibiotics or even surgery to treat your condition[8].


This all may sound a bit frightening, but we believe you deserve to be aware of the risks and side effects of abortion, so you can make the best choice for your health and future!


Abortion Pill Information in Missoula, MT

When your pregnancy test comes back positive, it can be easy to panic. Don’t let fear make any decisions for you! Get the care and support you deserve at Care Net! We offer free pregnancy resources, so you can make an empowered decision for your unexpected pregnancy:



Give us a call at (406) 549-0406 or schedule your appointment today. All services are confidential and free of charge!


Please be aware that Care Net does not provide or refer for abortion services.


Sources

  1. FDA. (2021, December 6). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex

  2. Montana State Legislature. (2017). 65th Legislature SB0282. Montana Legislature. Retrieved from https://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billpdf/SB0282.pdf

  3. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2021, December 16). 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

  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016, May 16). Mifepristone (Mifeprex). MedlinePlus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a600042.html

  5. Shin, Hyun Joo, et al. “Anaphylactic Shock to Vaginal Misoprostol: A Rare Adverse Reaction to a Frequently Used Drug.” PubMed Central (PMC), 9 Aug. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137020

  6. FDA. (2016). Prescribing Information for Mifeprex. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/022348s014lbl.pdf

  7. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, July 29). Medical Abortion. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687

Abortion Risks. Louisiana Department of Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ldh.la.gov/page/1063

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