Is the abortion pill safe?
Medication abortions are one of the most popular types of abortions in America today, and you’ve probably heard they’re safe and effective. Plus you can have your abortion treatment from the comfort and privacy of your home.
But like any medical procedure, there are risks to medical abortions and these risks aren’t always openly discussed.
Here are 5 things you should know before having a medical abortion.
1. The abortion pill has a higher complication rate than a surgical abortion.
It could seem like medical abortions would be safer than surgical abortions as they’re advertised as “less invasive” and often completed at home. However a study of over 40,000 women found that complication rates are four times higher in medical than in surgical abortions.1
Complications could include blood clots in your uterus, infection or even an incomplete abortion.
2. Studies show the abortion pill has a failure rate of 5-8%2.
This might mean the pregnancy hasn’t ended and you’ll need to go in and have a surgical abortion. Often incomplete abortions are linked to an inaccurate gestational date. It’s always best to have an ultrasound to confirm the dating of the pregnancy before seeking a medical abortion.
3. The abortion pill may be linked to pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you take the abortion pill and have chlamydia (a sexually transmitted disease) you may increase your risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
To avoid this risk, get tested for Chlamydia before taking the abortion pill. We offer no-cost, no insurance needed testing for chlamydia. Request a free test by clicking here.
4. The abortion pill can result in hemorrhaging.
While some bleeding is expected in a medical abortion, hemorrhaging is a rare but serious and possibly fatal complication.
5. The abortion pill will not work on ectopic pregnancies.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy is developing outside the uterus, and if missed, it can be fatal3.
An ultrasound is the best way to know if your pregnancy is developing in the uterus or if you may have an ectopic pregnancy. We offer free viability ultrasounds to determine if the pregnancy is developing in your uterus. You can schedule an appointment here.
Before you take any medication, make sure it’s safe for you. Your first step before having any type of an abortion should always be an ultrasound. An ultrasound can first confirm that you’re actually pregnant (as 1 in 4 pregnancies end naturally). An ultrasound will also tell you far along you are so you can reduce the risk of an incomplete/failed abortion.
There is a lot of misinformation online surrounding medical abortions. Our clinic staff and team of medical professionals are here to serve you and answer any questions you have.
We do not provide or refer for abortions. Instead, we provide information on all your options so you can make an informed decision. If you have any questions, text or call us 24/7 at 877-668-2566 or schedule your appointment today at this link!
1 Niinimaki M, Pouta A, Bloigu A, et al. Immediate complications of medical compared with surgical termination of pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 2009;114(4):795-804.
2 Mentula MJ, Niinimaki M, Suhonen S, et al. Immediate adverse events after 2nd trimester termination of pregnancy. Hum Reprod 2011;26(4):927-932.doi: 10.1093/humrep/der016. Raymond E, Weaver S, Winikoff B. First trimester medical abortion with mifepristone 200 mg and misoprostol: a systemic review. Contraception 2013;87(1):36-37.
3 CDC MMWR Surveillance Summaries. (1993). Surveillance for ectopic pregnancy – United States, 1970-1989.