Abortion can be done with number of methods. Broadly speaking it can be classified in two categories; medical abortion and surgical abortion. Medical abortion can be done by using medicines while surgical abortion requires minor surgical procedure. The advantage of medical abortion is that it is less expensive, non invasive, does not require anesthesia and it does not have risk of adhesions which is possible with surgical abortion.
Termination of pregnancy with the help of abortion pills is called medical abortion. Abortion pills are medicines that are used to end pregnancy. Normally they are effective and to be used in early pregnancy, up to first 9 weeks of pregnancy.
Procedure For Taking Abortion Pill
For a medical abortion, two types of pills are required which are taken at the interval of 2 to 3 days apart. The first pill is synthetic anti-progestogen pill called mifepristone. Its action is to block secretion of hormone progesterone. This hormone is required to built up the lining in uterus and facilitate progression of pregnancy. With lack of progesterone hormone, the uterine lining will break up and patient will have bleeding from vagina.
The second pill is prostaglandin pill. It is called misoprostol. This pill has to be taken after 24 to 36 hours after the first pill.It has to be inserted deep inside the vagina. Protaglandin pill triggers cramps and contraction of uterus leading to bleeding which is similar to miscarriage. Misoprostol can be inserted by the health care professional or the woman herself.
When Will Bleeding Start & How Long Will It Last?
Within 4 to 6 hours after insertion of pill, the woman usually starts bleeding with mild uterine cramps. She may also have mild to moderate abdominal pain, vomiting, hot flashes, headache etc. Large clots of blood may be expelled along with bleeding.
Bleeding may begin 2 to 3 hours after insertion of pill. It is normal for bleeding or spotting to occur for up to 2 to 3 weeks after abortion. During this period she may require sanitary pads. Using pads is essential to track the amount of bleeding.
Side Effects & Medical Advice After Abortion
Normally abortion pill is very effective. But at the same time it is also important for the woman to continue follow up with her doctor after 1 or 2 weeks after bleeding. It helps make sure that the pill has worked. If there is any doubt, the doctor will advise to do sonography to see whether the product of conception has completely eliminated from the uterus. In case if the pill has not worked, he would recommend evacuation of the left out product with surgical procedure.
For most women medical abortion is just like an early miscarriage. Certain symptoms are common such as feeling dizzy, headache, vomiting, pain and diarrhea. They recede after a period of time with medication. However, there are few important symptoms that may need urgent medical advice such as:
- Heavy bleeding which soaks more than 2 sanitary pads within 1 hour after the pill.
- Pain in abdomen that does not alleviate even after pain killers or placing hot water bottle and heat pad.
- High fever.
- If there is no bleeding after the use of mesoprostol.