With a 95% success rate supporting it, the abortion pill is being favoured by most women looking to terminate a confirmed pregnancy. A non-invasive procedure requiring no anaesthesia, it is widely known as RU486 and is a US Food and Drug Administration approved abortifacient.
A strong reason that sways most women towards medical abortion is the absence of surgery and thereby the complete elimination of being admitted to a medical facility. This makes the process extremely private and can be accomplished in the confines and comforts of one’s home.
The abortion pill induces abortion by administering a permutation of two medications-mifepristone and misoprostol in that order. Although, it can be taken orally or vaginally, the dosage of the former is taken orally at a treatment centre. It curbs the level of hormone progesterone, required to sustain pregnancy. As a result of this, the cervix softens and the uterine lining sheds causing bleeding. Bleeding can range from mild spotting to heavy bleeding or at times even no bleeding. This is then followed up with a dose of misoprostol (with 24-72 of taking mifepristone) which causes uterine contractions and further bleeding and expels the embryo.
Medical abortion must be resorted to after consulting a gynaecologist and within nine weeks to corroboration of the pregnancy.
Differing across people, these include diarrhoea, excessive blood loss, queasiness, headache, cramps, vomiting.
Following the use of the abortion pill some women experience very heavy bleeding spanning a few weeks and contraction of an infection (especially in case of vaginal use) can also not be ruled out. This has resulted in most medical experts advising against vaginal administration of the pill. However, the mortality rate of medical abortion is lower than that of surgical abortion.
In case of an incomplete miscarriage, damage to the surviving foetus is irrevocable and unavoidable. There could be an adverse impact on the woman’s fertility and ability to conceive as well in case of injury to cervix or fallopian tube.
Use of the medical abortion is not advisable under following circumstances:
- An advanced pregnancy (exceeding 8 weeks)
- Conditions of anaemia, cardiovascular; respiratory; renal and liver problems
- In case of the mother being HIV+
- In case of mother being a heavy smoker or a continuous user of steroids, anti-depressants, aspirin
- In case of an ectopic pregnancy
Abortion Pill v/s ‘The Pill”
The abortion pill is infamously confused with the morning after pill. It is essential to note that the morning after pill is a contraceptive that is used to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, while the former is medication to induce a miscarriage or terminate a confirmed pregnancy.
Although the abortion pill has its own gamut of side effects, it is being regarded as the safest method (in terms of minimizing infections) of terminating pregnancies. This is being echoed in statistics which reveal that a fourth of all American women undergoing abortion in the last year chose medical over surgical abortion.
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