Misoprostol is one part of a medical abortion (also referred to as the “abortion pill”), and it’s typically used in conjunction with mifepristone. 

If you’re considering taking only misoprostol, it’s essential to understand how this drug works and the potential risks. 

Read on to learn the basics you need to know before taking only misoprostol and how to protect your health. Or, if you want to talk to someone about your pregnancy options and learn about free resources, contact A Woman’s Concern to schedule a free, confidential appointment. 

How Does Misoprostol and Medical Abortion Work?

Medical abortion typically involves taking a combination of two powerful drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. 

Mifepristone works by blocking progesterone, a hormone that’s necessary during pregnancy. Without progesterone, your pregnancy will end. 

Misoprostol is usually taken after mifepristone. Misoprostol causes your uterus to cramp and expel your terminated pregnancy from your uterus.

These drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is 10 weeks gestation or under.

What Are the Risks of Medical Abortion?

The drugs involved in a medical abortion come with potential risks to your health, which include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

What Happens After Only Taking Misoprostol? 

Taking only misoprostol is not as effective as taking it with mifepristone. The FDA does not recommend this one-pill method at this time. 

Taking misoprostol will cause you to experience painful cramping with vaginal bleeding, and the objective of this one-pill abortion is to expel the contents of your uterus at home.

In some cases, the drug might be ineffective, leading to a continued pregnancy or incomplete abortion (which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in your uterus), and if left there, can cause severe infection and excessive bleeding.

How to Protect Your Health

Before seeking an abortion, it’s critical to get an ultrasound to learn key details about your pregnancy that can help protect your health. These details include:

  • Pregnancy age: You are more likely to experience medical abortion risks if your pregnancy is further than 10 weeks gestation, so it’s essential to know how far along you are.
  • Pregnancy location:  You are not eligible for abortion drugs if you’re experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy, and it’s a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical intervention. Pregnancy viability: Roughly 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it’s possible to experience one without any immediate signs. Taking the abortion pill while miscarrying can have negative effects on your health.

At A Woman’s Concern, we offer free, limited ultrasounds after you receive a positive pregnancy test result at our center. An ultrasound can confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy and confirm the location of the pregnancy. Both points of information will give you a safer health outcome if you choose a medical abortion. 

You’re Not Alone

Navigating your pregnancy options can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. At A Woman’s Concern, we offer free pregnancy resources and services to help you feel informed and empowered. 

Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential appointment.