Are There Risks When Taking the RU486 Pill?

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are probably feeling like your world has been turned upside down, and it’s hard to know what to do or who to talk to. Often the first thought is about abortion, and you might be wondering what the risks are when taking the RU486 pill, also known as the abortion pill.

About Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is the procedure that uses the RU486 (abortion) pill to terminate a pregnancy using two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

Mifepristone is the first pill taken, and it blocks progesterone, a hormone necessary for the embryo to remain attached inside the uterus. Misoprostol, the second pill taken, stimulates contractions to expel the pregnancy.

The pills are taken on separate days, and the abortion can take several days to complete, followed by two to three weeks of bleeding and spotting. A follow-up visit one to two weeks later is a crucial step to help avoid some of the risks associated with the pills.

Risks When Taking RU486

Failure or Incomplete Abortion: Medical abortion failure means the pregnancy was unresponsive to the drugs and can result in heavy bleeding, hemorrhage, anemia, and/or a drop in blood pressure. This requires a second procedure—a surgical abortion—in order to complete a failed medical abortion; otherwise, the pregnancy could continue.

Infection: Infection and sepsis are risks associated with the abortion pill and, together with hemorrhage, are the most frequent causes of illness and death due to mifepristone. This can occur due to pregnancy tissue remaining in the uterus.

Severe Pain: This is due to the uterine cramping generated by the Misoprostol pill. This pain is both necessary and expected as the pregnancy leaves the woman’s body.

Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea: These can occur but are generally mild.

Damage to the Uterus: Misoprostol has been reported to cause rupturing or tearing of the uterus when RU486 is administered after the eighth week of pregnancy. This can cause severe bleeding, the need for a hysterectomy, or death.

Come for a No-Cost Screening

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we know how hard an unwanted pregnancy is for you. We are here to offer you a variety of services, including a no-cost pregnancy test to confirm your at-home results, a no-cost ultrasound to tell you how far along you are and if your pregnancy is viable, and STD testing at no cost to you as well.

Just as important as the screening is our confidential, non-judgmental environment. We are here to support you, to empower you, answer your questions, and to give you the critical information you need so that you can make the best possible decision for you.

Let us help you. Call Willowbrook Women’s Center today and make an appointment to come see us.

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