What is the abortion pill?

The abortion “pill” is more than just a pill. It is a two-step regimen intended to end an early pregnancy (10 weeks or less).

Sometimes referred to as a chemical or medication abortion, this process is most effective (96%) if completed before eight weeks gestation, 94% effective at eight to nine weeks and 92% effective at nine to ten weeks.

Woman taking medication

How does the abortion pill work?

According to the FDA, step one of the regimen is to take 200 mg of the drug mifepristone, commonly referred to as RU486, or by its brand name, Mifeprex. Mifepristone blocks the body’s naturally producing progesterone which is needed to sustain a pregnancy.

Step two utilizes the drug misoprostol, also knowns as Cytotec. 24-48 hours after taking Mifeprex, 800 mcg of misoprostol should be taken buccally (in the cheek pouch) or vaginally at a location where the patient feels most comfortable. Misoprostol softens the cervix and prepares the body to expel the pregnancy.

You should follow up with your provider seven to 14 days after completing the abortion pill regimen to ensure the abortion was completed successfully and no infection exists.

Do I need to have an ultrasound prior to taking the abortion pill?

Ultrasound is the most reliable way to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. Additionally, ultrasound is the only way to confirm you do not have an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus.

The abortion pill is not a reliable way to end an ectopic pregnancy. While it may successfully terminate the pregnancy, it cannot remove the embryo increasing your risk of serious infection.


LifeSpring offers both free pregnancy testing and limited obstetrical ultrasounds. All ultrasounds are performed by a licensed medical professional. If there is any reason for concern, we will refer you to the local hospital for further evaluation.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What will happen to my body after taking the abortion pill?

During a chemical abortion, particularly after taking misoprostol, you will likely pass large blood clots – up to the size of a lemon – as well as the fetus or embryo.

It is important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for this process, particularly if your pregnancy is eight weeks along or later. There is no right or wrong way to feel so it is important to have your trusted support system in place to help you process your emotions.

What side effects are possible with the abortion pill?

Side effects include:

  • Cramping and vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fever/chills
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

What should I do if my side effects persist?

Go to the nearest emergency room if:

  • You are bleeding through one regular-sized sanitary pad per hour for more than two hours
  • You are passing blood clots larger than a lemon
  • You have a fever of 100.4˚ F or higher for longer than four hours
  • You have persistent nausea, stomach pain, or weakness

In order for emergency room personnel to properly diagnose and treat you, it is important that you be upfront and honest about taking the abortion pill.

Where can I get more abortion pill information?

At LifeSpring we serve women at no cost, with no judgment. We provide real answers to your questions regarding abortion, adoption, parenting and more so you can leave feeling confident to make the best decision for YOU.

Our services include lab-quality pregnancy testing, limited obstetrical ultrasounds, STI/STD testing and treatment, parenting and life skills classes, and material aid including diapers, wipes, formula, etc. All at no charge.

Learn more about the abortion pill and schedule an appointment today.