Mifepristone..."The Abortion Pill": The Facts

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Biology 103
2000 First Web Report
On Serendip

Mifepristone..."The Abortion Pill": The Facts

Sujatha Sebastian

On September 28, 2000 the Food and Drug Administration after several years of research approved Mifepristone, better known as the "abortion pill", for distribution in the United States. The FDA's decision will have a definite impact on women's health care in the United States. There will be social and medical repercussions. The drug has caused controversy not only in antiabortion groups, but in Pro-Choice groups as well. Critics are worried that an abortion available in pill form will be "too easy". They are worried that use of the pill will be abused. What many people do not realize is that while Mifepristone will be beneficial to women's health care, it is not without side effects. In light of all the recent coverage that the "abortion pill" has been given in the media, and all the misinformation surrounding it, I decided researching that Mifepristone would be interesting and helpful. The purpose of my paper is to discover how Mifepristone works, how it is administered, and to look at its side effects. I want to demonstrate the benefit Mifepristone will be to women's health care, while showing that it is not an "easy" solution to abortion.

"Mifepristone, formerly known as RU-486, is a medical alternative to aspiration abortion."(1) It works by blocking progesterone from being absorbed into the uterus. When this happens the uterus sheds the endometrium (lining in the uterus, therefore inducing menstruation. (2 When Mifepristone is used as a method for abortion is it administered as part of a three step process. The first step is that 200 mg of Mifepristone is given orally in a doctor's office. Then within 24 to 48 hours the patient is given 400 mg a drug called Misoprostol either orally or in a suppository form. Misoprostol, which is a synthetic hormone, is used to get the cervix to soften and dilate as well as getting the uterus to relax. The embryo is then expelled.(2) This is supposed to happen approximately fours hours after the administration of the drug. The final step is an examination by a medical professional to make sure the abortion is complete. (2)

There are restrictions as to who can use this medical method of abortion. It is only intended for women to use up to nine weeks after their last menstruation period. Women who are under 18 or over 35, epileptic, diabetics, or suffering from heart, lung, kidney, liver, stomach or intestinal disorders are ineligible. As are women who have taken steroids within the past 12 months, or deemed overweight or a heavy smoker. Women who have used an IUD or hormonal contraceptive within three months prior to conception are not allowed to take Mifepristone as well.(2)

Like any drug or medical method there are side effects to using Mifepristone and Misoprostol. It is the number of side effects and degree of each that critics argue about. The FDA has determined that taking Mifepristone does cause various degrees of pain. Short term physical effects can be pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue.(2) There are psychological side effects as well. In some cases products of the conception are visualized. (3)

The use of Mifepristone will have a definite impact on reproductive freedom in this country and the world. (3) It is seen as less invasive procedure which gives the woman more freedom and privacy. In the United States it has been reported by the Alan Guttmacher Institute that eighty-nine percent of the abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Mifepristone will allow women another option to terminate a pregnancy in its early stages. (2) Twenty-four percent of the world's population lives in places where abortion is not legal. (3) As a result a significant population of women perform their own abortions or receive illegal abortions which kills them. The medical method of abortion would allow women in these areas of the world to receive a safe method of abortion.

A major issue that critics of Mifepristone have is that they feel that the drug will allow abortions to become "too easy". But the drug is only administered in a medical office and requires at least three visits. The last visit is an examination to see that the abortion is complete and that the mother is in good health. Before the patient is given Mifeprex tablets (Mifepristone) she must sign an agreement in which she acknowledges that there are side effects, that there is a three step process, and that 5 to 8 women out of every hundred do not have successful medical abortions and need surgical abortions . (5) Critics worry that the drug will cause an increase in the number of women who have abortions. Supporters of the drug cite the fact that in France, where the drug is manufactured and was first administered, there has not been an increase in the abortion rate. (2)

Mifepristone will change the way that abortions are administered. This method gives a woman more autonomy and does not require her to go through surgical procedure. It can also prevent pregnancy by taken as soon as a day after she has had intercourse. This new method will allow more women to have access to safe abortions. Mifepristone opens the door to a new area of medicine in which previously surgical procedures are now approached in a medical manner. Whether in support of or against Mifepristone one has to recognize the new technology the drug represents.

One of the problems I had when researching information was finding unbiased information. Both pro and anti Mifepristone groups used "research" and statistics to their benefit. Distinguishing the difference between opinion and fact was difficult. This is especially true because there is not a lot of accurate information about Mifepristone published by reliable sources. This is due to the fact that Mifepristone has just recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Mifepristone that will be beneficial to women's health care and medicine. But one must realize that it is not without side effects and cannot be seen as an "easy" solution to abortion.

 

WWW Sources

1)www.plannedparenthood.org/mifepristone.html, Mifepristone

2)www.rascalnut.com/naral.ohio/RU486.html, The Facts about Mifepristone (RU 486)

3)www.mja.com.au/public/issues/sep15/henshaw/henshaw.html, Mifepristone

4)http://jinx.sis.unsw.edu.au/~greenlft/1994/137/137p28htm, "Abortion Pill": A Woman's Right to Choose by, Kath Gelber

5)www.popcouncil.orgrhpdev/mifeprex/patient%5Fagreement.html,The Patient Agreement Mifeprex (Mifepristone) Tablets

6) www.pages.map.com/lroberge/ru486.htm, RU486: The Hidden Effects by Lawrence F. Roberge

6) www.nrlc.org/ru486/propsedFDAregs.html, RU486 *Please note that some of the sources read during my research were from biased sources (the National Right to Life Committee web site for example). Facts were not used from these sources in my paper. These sources were instead used to discover the arguments anti-Mifepristone groups had and to see the false information they were publishing about the drug.

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

08/06/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I took that pill and almost blead to death now i have have to say it's not as easy as it sounds it is very painful like child birth but more blooder atleast for me i now have endromitrious and may have to have my women parts removed i had nothing before i took those pills i'm 37 so i'm just saying better think it out before you take it because it's dangerious i have a son who is 18 it was easier for me to have him then go through childbirth than taking those pills becuse i'm still not well and it has been 7 months


10/10/2005, from a Reader on the Web

For what it's worth, I though I'd share my personal experience using Mifepristone almost a month ago.. After having made the difficult choice to abort, I learned of this pill as an alternative option to having the traditional surgical procedure. Of course, as anyone would, I opted to try the pill because it seemed -less- painful and was something I could do in the privacy of my own home. After having been given the first pill, Mifepristone, at the doctors office on a Friday afternoon, I finished out my day at work with minimal side-effects at that point. The Mifepristone made me slightly sick to my stomach, but compared to the ongoing morning sickness I'd been going through, it wasn't so bad. (ha ha) Misoprostol was the next step, given to me in the form of 4 tablets, to be inserted vaginally myself at home. I was also given a full bottle of Vicodin, as well as a bottle of 800mg Ibuprophen for the pain the doctor anticipated I would encounter (this worried me a little). Late Satuday afternoon, I'd say around 4:30pm, scared to death not knowing what to expect once everything started, and knowing I couldn't turn back now, I inserted the tablets and took 1 Vicodin as directed. About 30 minutes from the time I did this I began to have cramping comparable to what you would feel during a typical menstrual period.. but not for long. Within an hour I had severe cramping.. I'd been warned the pain could equal that of actual child-birth contractions, and this must have been it. (I've never had a child, so I can only imagine) I was to the point of feeling like I would pass out if the pain didn't let up when I passed the first, and largest, portion of what -was- the pregnancy.. Many people will tell you that all you'll see is blood and clots, and it's unlikely anything will look like actual tissue.. but mine sure did.. Large masses of gray tissue were expelled for the following numerous hours. Somewhere close to midnight that night I felt relief enough to know it was over.. or so I thought. 4 days after this, while I -should- have been feeling more or less back to normal, I began to experience increasing pain in my abdomen. I called and spoke with my doctor about this, but felt as though she didn't seem concerned at all. No more than 2 hours after hanging up the phone I developed a fever that shot through the roof out of nowhere, and my heart began beating unbelieveably TOO fast. The "increasing pain" in my abdomen now had me laying in bed, hardly able to move. I called my mother who left work and rushed to my home to get me. I couldn't even get out of bed to let her in when she arrived I hurt so bad. I ended up in the emergency room that afternoon with a heartbeat of 143 beats/min.. (Check your own and then you'll see just how high 143 is) and a 103 temperature I ended up fighting to keep away for the next 4 days. To make a long story short, that first afternoon I spent over 8 hours in a treatment room in the emergency area before they got my vitals under control and discovered the cause of everything.. The abortion pill I used began attacking my own body in a sense, and began a horrendous infection in my uterus. In the end I spent a week in the hospital on 3 of the most potent anti-biotics available, as well as some heavy-duty narcotic pain killers, while specialists from the surrounding hospitals kept watch over me constantly. It's now been almost a month since then, and I still have to have blood work done, as well as ultrasounds every now and then to keep monitoring my recovery. I have constant sharp pains in my abdomen and have been told the scar tissue left over from the infection may now keep me from becoming pregnant in the future.. It's all so much to deal with, and honestly, I don't think I've come to terms with everything yet. It still feels like a bad dream. Regardless of my experience with the pill and side effects it caused me, I can still step back and look at the broad picture of things.. The majority of women who use this method have no problems, and for them, this is a good way to go. I really do think it's a better choice for most, than to have the surgical abortion.. BUT - be warned.. It's not "easy" using the pill, and there's no way to know how you're body will react to it. I never knew I'd go through the things I did because of it. This is definitely not something to be looked at as the "new contraceptive" either, as some are saying. It's so risky, putting your body through something like this. It could take a toll on you that will effect the rest of your life. Like me.. Will I ever be able to have kids after everything that happened? Every woman out there should begin by being aware of how to avoid an unwanted pregnancy from the start. Such as life happens, and most protection only offers 99.9% effectiveness, we forget that's NOT 100%.. If you still become pregnant and choose to abort, do your homework.. read about all possibilities, and all side effects for each.. then decide what's best for you. I think the pill is a great option.. but be careful, it's certainly not without it's flaws.

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007
It has been almost 2 months since I had made the painful decision to get an abortion. I am only 18 years old so you could imagine hoe scary it was for me. After they examined me and told me how far I was they put me in this rome with a female doctor so I can take the oral pill that actually determines the pregnancy. When I took that pill, I felt fine until I had to get something in my stomach, I couldn't even eat my stomach was turning so bad. the doctor told me that I could insert the four pills vaginally anytime between then and 48 hours after the visit. I decided to insert them that night to get it over with and about an hour after it was literally hell. I was vomiting,bleeding perfusely, and experiencing pain more severe then I had ever felt before. To make a long story shorter, it has been about 2 months and I still haven't exactl stopped bleeding. I am young and afaid to go get checked because of it, and my life will never be the same. I had no choice my situation at the time wasn't what I wanted and now I will always regret it ... Reader on the web, 12 August 2007

 

 

I used the pill around february of '07. I was 6 1/2 weeks and I guess I didnt really know what I was getting myself into. I took the first pill which I had no side effects to. When I took the second one the next day, it was almost immediate cramping. Basically the worst cramps I had ever had. I was puking, had diarrea, and was in so much pain I was balled up on the couch crying. I guess I was a "lucky" one because my horrible cramps only lasted about an hour until I passed the birth tissue and then they subsided. Although I bled for a month after that (most of it not heavy), I completly regret it to this day. All I can ever think about is a perfectly beautiful child is now in a sewer somewhere. It's horrible, but thats how I think of it now. I wish I could go back and change things. I wish I never did it. All I hope is that it didnt hurt my chances of having a child in the future ... Reader on the web, 13 September 2007

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

So how was your experience

So how was your experience and how do you feel emotionally

Serendip Visitor's picture

SCARED

I'm extremely nervous about all of this. I took the first pill today and must complete the rest of the process tomorrow..I would like for experienced ppl to tell me how severe are the cramps UNBEARABLE or TOLERABLE?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Dont be scared

I took the 1st pill on Friday and then the 2nd one on Saturday. I have some cramping but not too bad. I am still bleeding and think I will for a while. Take all the antibiotics so that you do not get an infection. If you feel pain take your pain medicine. Hope you have a good recovery.

Serendip Visitor's picture

don't be afraid

i came to this website about 5 days ago when i decided to terminate my 5 week pregnancy with the abortion pill and was terrified that i was going to be screaming in pain and bleeding like there is no tomorrow. i am actually writing this right now as i lay in bed 2 hours after taking my pills. i have some pretty bad cramps that come and go and i am bleeding a little more than my usual. but in no way am i dying in pain. Also the people at the clinic were very nice and made me feel very comfortable. i am so thankful to have a supporting boyfriend and family without them i would be lost. i am also thankful that i have the right to choose and when i am a little older and finish college i will have children and provide them with the life i can. i hope whoever reads this feels a little better about their decision.

Serendip Visitor's picture

no worries

This is exactly how I am feeling. i could have not gone through this without a caring boyfriend and family and a best friend there to help me cope. I was also nervous because i want to finish out college rather than struggle though it with a baby. I was so scared when i first decided to take the pill! I was so nervous at first about getting the pill that when i was in the doctors office i fainted! but yesterday (sunday Aug 7th) at around 230 i took tylenol with codeine and then at 3 took the 4 pills orally. i was SO nervous, as to what you said i was afraid i was going to be screaming bloody murder. But right now it is 730 on Monday morning and I haven't felt much. All saturday night i have laid in bed waiting for unbearable pain with a heating pad on my stomach, but it never really came. It feels no more painful than a normal period. the only thing I am worried about is if it is actually working for me? ive had blood clots in the beginning so i am hoping i passed it then, also the nurse said i was really early so maybe that is why it is going easy for me.

Jane Doe's picture

my experience

I am posting this anonymously and will not be checking this site afterwards. I am considering this post a way of closing this chapter. This is meant for all the women out there who were in a terrifying and anxiety-filled situation, just like me. Please ignore the haters and activists. Do not judge them, nor allow them to judge you. This is your decision for your life and your body. NO ONE else can decide anything for you. It is yours to make.

I felt nauseous and dizzy for the 2 weeks prior. I should have known sooner, since my period is always on time. I am in a committed relationship of 6 months and we stupidly did not use protection every time. I thought I had my ovulation calendar timed perfectly and would just not have sex/ use a condom on those days. I was stupid. Mistakes happen. USE PROTECTION PLEASE. Birth control is much much cheaper than an abortion... I digress...

I found out I was pregnant after taking 4 pregnancy tests and made my appointment on Monday July 25th. Waiting until my appointment on Friday the 29th was the hardest part. I just wanted it all to be over with. My insurance covers abortions, but I wanted the privacy and speed of Planned Parenthood. I must say, that although they are understaffed and overworked - they are EXTREMELY kind and nonjudgmental. I would go there again and pay twice as much if need be. I live in South Florida, and my medical abortion cost $495. I got to the clinic at 8:30 am and was out by 11:45. They took my blood for testing, gave me an ultrasound and provided counseling/ education as needed. They were very busy, but very kind.

During the ultrasound they gave me the option of seeing the fetus/knowing how far along I was. I chose not to know. I already calculated that I had to be 5 to 6 weeks along. I didn't want or need to know. But I think some people would be interested. I liked having the option. Also, there were a few girls there who seemed much more nervous than I. They were counseled, I could hear them going to another room that I didn't have to. I guess since I seemed so confidant and educated (from this site and the planned parenthood site) that I did not need the assistance. But once again - it was good to know there was the option.

The doctor gave me the first pill and watched me take it at 11:30 I signed the papers and left with 3 prescriptions. These were very useful. I got one for tylenol 3 with codeine, 800mg ibuprofen and something for nausea. They were generic and covered by insurance. Even without insurance they would only have been about $12 each. Fill these, they will save your life.

I took the 4 pills on Saturday July 30th at about midnight. An hour before I took 1 tylenol and 1 nausea pill. I actually fell asleep after taking the 4 pills and slept for about 4 hours. I woke up to some serious cramps, about as bad as the worse period cramps. I went to the bathroom and a very large clot came out. I had also soaked through a pad. I wish I hadn't fell asleep so I could have monitored better. But I was exhausted from a week of no sleep, feeling nauseous and worrying all night. That night was probably the best sleep I had gotten in a long time. I took some of the Ibuprofen and more nausea and fell back asleep. I got up a couple times to change my pad/ go to the bathroom. But the cramps were not bad due to the medicine. That stuff worked awesome. I luckily had Sunday off from work and just slept until 12. Although, I could have probably gotten up earlier. The pills helped me get back to feeling normal.

Sunday I bled like a heavy flow day. Not being used to pads, I was kinda worried about changing them frequently. But now it is Monday and the bleeding is down quite a bit. Still no tampons for a week, though. And I have my follow-up on Tuesday August 16th.

In closing, please don't let the negative comments discourage you. This decision might be hard for you, but if you feel it is right - than it is. Mine was an easy choice. I am a college student with a crappy part time job, a wonderful boyfriend and a supportive family. I didn't want to put them or myself through the pain and life changing process of an unwanted pregnancy. I KNOW without a doubt that I made the right decision. And some of the kind posts on this site made it that much easier. I did not tell anyone about this. I didn't need to. I am a grown woman and I know what is right for me. But if you feel alone, please reach out to others. There is help if you look for it, I promise.

Please be safe and kind to one another. We are all human and need help from time to time. It will all get better, do not give up on yourself. I love you and good luck to all my sisters out there.

~xoxo

Diane's picture

my experience

did you get your period yet?

torn and alone's picture

torn

I am scheduled to go take the first pill tomorrow but still very unsure..i already have two children whom i couldnt imagine my life without but i am a single mother working full time for minimum wage and not making it..this guy who i am pregnant by now has a son who he raises but he does not work and is in all sorts of trouble...he says he will not abandon this baby if i chose to have it however he doesnt want another child and makes a good point that neither one of us can afford it right now..and has given me the money to pay for the abortion. also i barely know this guy..stupid on my part i know but only knew him for a couple weeks when i became pregnant. i am very torn because with my first child my ex wanted me to have an abortion i was very young but i knew there was no way i could do it. and i must say i thank god everyday for my son he is the light of my life. my second i didnt want but still couldnt have an abortion and she is the most beautiful angel ever. ive always been prolife but circumstances have changed. i just simply am afraid i cant properly provide for another child. i dont get to see the two i have already due to working 2 counties away from where i live they stay at my fathers alot. i am terrified of how i am going to feel everythime i see and pregnant belly or a tiny baby..or in a year how regretful i may feel. another thing is yes i may have made this mistake and not want to live with it but what in this world gives me the right to take a life!?!? and oh my after reading some of the horror stories. thats scary stuff. has anybody had a decent experience with the pill????

Serendip Visitor's picture

What did you decide to do

What did you decide to do

Serendip Visitor's picture

Not as bad as has been made out.

I haven't had THAT bad a time. I have been through most of the experience alone, not to say I haven't told my partner I did at the last minute, but he is a bloke and i guess he feels uncomfortable talking about it.
So yeah, I found out i was pregnant two weeks ago. waited three days for an appointment at BPAS. (UK) and nothing was seen on the scan, so went back a week later and I then found out i was five weeks and two days. My last appointment was yesterday where i had the oral pill at ten o clock, and the pessaries (vaginal pill) at half three.
Having the pregnancy wasn't even an option for me. I am twenty one and due to start my univeristy degree in three weeks, I am in a long term relationship where we have been careful and on the contraceptive pill (cilest) and using the pull out method as a further form of contraception we had been clear from the strat of our relationship. No babies until after we finish our prospective degrees and can actually afford to look after it andgive it thing and oppurtunities I didn't have. (My mum was seventeen when she had me and I feel it has affected our relationship)We were so careful But it still happened to us.

Yesterday, after the last four interal pills. I was advised to take the codeine before the pain started. But stupidly I didn't. I wouldn't say the pain was agonising or terrible. It wasn't nice but, I felt I could bear it until after about five hours (I stupidly decided to go for a two hour drive as a passeneger with my friend) and being sat all curled up in the car was awful. Not ever being used to pads, I was so paranoid about bleeding through. But I didnt which was a major relief. when i got out to use the loo, what I can only describe as blobs, like jelly sort of came out which wasnt very nice to see but I was assured earlier in the clinic that it was only womb lining and nothing else nd the pregnancy was still only cells at this stage. After letting it do its thing, i continued o meeting my friend and stuff, I ust say I did feel a bit wozy at about nine, so i took two codeine. and these took the pain right down to nothinguntil i was curled back up in the car but when i was out. I was fine all night and took my antibiotics today and two codeine as more of a precaution than because i needed them. But yeah the bleeding is still what I would call heavy flow... like.. the first day of your period for instance. so nothing major. and it has lessened a lot since that first time on the loo after the journey. I must say i feel much better , so yeah hope this has helped
xxxx

Serendip Visitor's picture

My experience

Many of these posts seem intended to scare people who are considering the pill. I took the early option pill (mifepristone and misoprostol) a few months ago because, like you, I knew I could not provide financially. If I am going to have a child, I intend to make sure that I can provide ideal circumstances. My husband is a student and I am a recent graduate - I have had no time to build a career or create a foundation for a little one. It's important that as women, we can control when a child is born - it is essential for his/her if a child is born, as well as our own. Emotionally, it was hard in the beginning, but I truly believe that I made the right decision, as hard as it was. Physically, the misoprostol (second pill) was the most painful and nauseating experience of my life, but it only lasted a few hours. I had intermittent cramping and bleeding for a few weeks following, and passed clots and runny tissue (no, I did not see an embryo or yoke sack - everything was red like blood). If you decide to go through with the procedure, make sure you are given antibiotics to prevent infection and take pain pills about an hour before (trust me, you will need it). If I had to do it over again I would, but I have no plans to do so and the mere thought of it makes me shudder. I do not see an embryo as life - I see it as potential for life. I may have decided to end the cycle, but when the time is right, I will bring a child into the world and they will have what they never could have prior. Good luck to you. Remember that you're not alone.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Saturday

I have suffered with severe cramps and heavy bleeding during periods for ten years. Most of them made me wish that I were dead. However this was not caused by the pills. I will be taking the pills this Saturday mainly because I am only 19 and start college in a couple weeks. I start band camp this friday. Band is what pays my tuition, pregnancy will terminate my scholarship.
Reading some of these comments have really scared me, but when I think about the side effects given, that is actually how I feel every month. Maybe these pills will just be an extended regualar period for me.

My mind is torn because I've always been pro life. Yet what's inside of me does not feel alive. It wouldn't have a heart beat until a few more weeks. I wish I was atleast a few more years down the road with a career. Maybe I could have saved a life that awaits in me. Right now I'm just a student with no means of supporting a life other than my own. And if I am to bring a child into the world, I want it to be the right way in a marriage with the child having a stable home with his or her real parents like I was.

This is the hardest and most heart breaking decision I will ever make. And I can't even tell my parents.... I feel so alone. All my closest friends are virgins and here I am pregnant... they have no idea because I can't tell them either.

-Alone

Serendip Visitor's picture

Don't look at this decision

Don't look at this decision as prolife or prochoice. It is much bigger then that. This is about you and your unborn. Are you ready to dedicate everything to a baby? That baby will need a lot of time moneys and support. Iam a mother of two children under three and I can tell you my whole day goes to these little ones. They are precious, yes! But until you are fully prepared to care for and support them you shouldn't attempt it. It is only fair that your precious baby be given the life they deserve, so wait until you are ready that way your life with your baby will be somehing that is cherished. When i was 16 i had to make the same hard decision and opted for a surgical abortion. Because as a teen i knew i was in no position to be a mother, at least not the great mother that i had alwaus pictured myself as (miss homemaker type). So i did something very hard that i still feel a little sad about when i look back. Because. Good people sometimes have to make tough decisions. But you arent bad for choosing your life right now. In the end it may be better to release that soul if you dont feel your ready. Only you know what you are mentally and finacially ready to handle at the moment. Make the desision that is right for you now. You are young and have time for a family later.

dawni72's picture

hey.. you are really not

hey.. you are really not alone.xx ive just gone through this horrible decision..but had to do it for myself and my family. it's not a nice feeling or thing to do, but having had 3 beautiful children myself and being 38yrs, it was the best decision for me..my eldest son is now 20 an has cerebral palsey i was 19 when i had him and although i love him, and i'm so,so glad i have him, i lost my youth,i lost holidays away with friends,going out enjoying myself i grew up very quickly..at your age you have so much infront of you..these storys on here are just one persons account of what has happend to them..although it hasnt been a nice experiance, im good an im well and ok...you will make the right desisionx take care.x

Serendip Visitor's picture

the abortion pill

In South Africa popping out babies is a big social issue. Kids as young as 13 have babies, get social grants, dont get educated, get infected with HIV and dont see their children grow up. The rate of HIV infection exceeds the birth rate, but the birth rate ironically exceeds the death rate. An HIV infected person can have 3 or 4 kids before he dies.And it happens. I have dealt with three unwanted pregnancies in my family. The first was my 18yr old sister when I was 20. My daughter was 2yrs old. My sister was also at college and varsity etc. She lived on her own far away from us. I accompanied her to the clinic and she had a horrendous experience. I heard everything and took her home again. It was awful. I fell pregnant again 5 yrs later and went to the gynie. She gave me a prescription for cytotec. Wow. It was quick and easy and no one had to know. Yes. I had cramps, but not as bad as labour and i bled for about 6 weeks which is not unlike after having a baby. I had no side effects. When my next younger sister fell pregnant right after her fist born, i told her about the cytotec and she took the rest of my prescription with no side effect. All three of us have since had successful pregnancies within stable relationships and without remorse or regrets. When you look at social circumstances you have to make the decision that is right for you. The decision that you know you can live with. If you deal with it maturely you wont have a problem. It doesnt come back to haunt you and it does not necessarily affect future conceptions. An unwanted pregnancy can only lead to an unwanted child that is likely to put a burden on society in one way or another.

Ticked Off's picture

10 Day Update

I went for my follow up appointment today. Dr was real quiet during the ultrasound. I could tell by her face it was not clear. She said the pregnancy was definitely terminated, but I still had a fair amount of "debris". So, I had the option of taking 4 more pills or coming back for the D&C. I chose the later because she said there is no real guarantee that the pills will work. Also, in her opinion it was better to suffer 10 minutes of discomfort rather than a few hours of pain with the pills. I agree.

In short, I would never go through the medical abortion again. Why go through all that only to have to have a D&C anyway? I am really angry and upset right now. Think real hard before you make a decision. Complications with surgical abortions are rare and it is over immediately. Just my two cents. I will write another update after my D&C.

Serendip Visitor's picture

12 weeks pregnant and going for pill abortion tomorrow

Hello I'm from England and could really use some help I'm nearly 12 weeks pregnant and going for the pills tomorrow and I'm worried as I have read that the pill abortion shouldn't be used if you are more than 9 weeks this has confused me as the hospital said it's fine and I have all ready took the first pill I'm so scared as I'm nearly 12 weeks that it will be more painful etc. Please can someone help

Serendip Visitor's picture

if i was you i wouldnt take

if i was you i wouldnt take the pill since you 12 weeks into it. i took the pill it was a really painful thing i had to go through but now im okay but im still bleeding and it been almost two months now. all im saying is think twice before you can your decision about the pill since you 12 weeks, look into it some more plz.

Karen's picture

Help

Hi girls, I took the 4 pills at 7:40pm (7/15/11) and didnt start bleeding till an hour after. At first it was light bleeding like a regular period but after another hour i started bleeding a little more. Im not sure if im bleeding too much, but i have passed fairly medium-big size blood cloths and a small grayish cloth which i suspect is the tissue. Anyway im just a little concern about my bleeding, idk if im just exaggerating and its fine but still have my doubts. I wonder if the bleeding will lessen after the baby passes, but not sure when i'll know that it did. Can anyone tell me how i can know when its over? This is my first and im really scared and lonely at my house going through this. I would appreciate any comment

asin's picture

hiiiiiiiiii im 20 yrs old i

hiiiiiiiiii im 20 yrs old i have lost my period it start date is 10/09/11 but not start till now i have a doubt im pragnent can u plz help me what can i do ? i have use praga news but the result is negative i have also doubt...........?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Plzzzzzzzzzzz I need your help

I took the abortion pill at the office on June 23 and the 4 pills the next day after few hrs I felt a lot of pain and I passed clots. Immediately, the pain was gone. In my 2 weeks check up appt the doctor shocked me that the pregnancy is still positive and there is still some pieces in the ultrasound..the doctor asked me what I wanna do and I told him that I don’t want to do surgical procedure because I am really scared…so he gave me another 16 pills and told me to do the 4 the same day and take 1 pill 3 times a day for 4 days…I did what he told me and I had a heavy bleeding but no pain…I came back for my appt after one week…the doctor was on vacation and there was another doctor…he did the ultrasound for me and told me you are clean and the ultrasound looks pretty good…I felt relief but then he asked me if I am still bleeding and I said yes..he asked if it is heavy and I told him yes…then he told me that I need to do the cleaning because I am still bleeding…I asked him but why the ultrasound showed that I am clean…he said if you are still bleeding then there might be some tissues that he cannot see in the ultrasound…I explained to him that I don’t want the surgery and I am really scared…then he said you can wait for 5 days and come back to see if the bleeding will stop or it should be spotting only….my question is any one of you had the same experience? I thought the abortion will be complete by doing the pills for the 1st time because they are saying the percentage is 95%...but I had to take it again…and now I am not sure what to do…is my uterus clean? I really don’t want the surgery but at the same time I don’t want to get an infection and die…I am really scared and don’t know what to do…is it true the uterus clean itself naturally? I asked my friend doctor backhome she told me they don’t do cleaning if the ultrasound is clean and if the pregnancy is less than 7 weeks..She told me we don’t do cleaning unless it is necessary...plz help me I need your advice and your experience

Serendip Visitor's picture

I had a medical abortion 7/2.

I had a medical abortion 7/2. My 2 week check up, I was told everything looked good but that I did have a minor infection. I was given an antibiotic and assumed things were ok. I stopped bleedibg for about 3 days and then while at work I started bleeding heavily bright red. I first thought this was just my period until 3 days later I was in the shower and had a sudden gush of blood fall into the tub followed by abnormally large clots. This bleeding continued for several hours so I called the doc whom told me to come in the next day. Last weds. When I got there I had an ultra soubd which showed there was tissue still left inside and that I would need to have the surgical suction to remove the leftover tissue. I had no one that could give me a ride so being I had to drive myself- I couldnt have general anesthesia. I recieved a local anesthetic and underwent the procedure fully concious. It hurt like a b$tch but was over in secs. Within 3 days the bleeding has finally stopped and I am praying that this whole thing is finally over.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i took the pill june 3 and i

i took the pill june 3 and i did my follow up everything was good and when i went back i was still showing im positive every time i go. and i'm still bleeding to this day, im really scared bout that so i feel your pain. now i have an appioniment to see the doctor tomorrow, im scared to hear bad news cuz im still young. if the doc said to clean and thats the best thing for you to do then listen to him. so im going through the same problem so dont worry if everything is clear you should be good but i will feed you back on my follow up when i see the doctor but dont be scared just have the faith.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi These days I stopped

Hi

These days I stopped bleeding i am only spotting..i already wrote that I took the first 4 pills on June 23 and then the doctor gave me 16 pills after that I went for my appt and he did an ultrasound for me, it was pretty clean ,but the pregnancy hormone was 57, and because the doctor knows that I am against doing D&C he gave me another 9 pills to take it for 3 days and he told me that i don't need to do D&C and this can be treated medically...I took it and in few days later I did the urine test at home and thank god it was negative..the nurses told me that I don't need to come back to see the doctor and i am ok since its negative...finally...i will schedule appts with a OB/GYN to do more tests and check up just in case for the future...I don't think u have to do D&C, here in the U.S they do it because it is a standard protection but it is really unnecessary if u r showing clean in the ultrasound and the hormone will be low in days…Wish u all the best

Serendip Visitor's picture

plzzz reply

plz reply to my post plz i need ur help

San Sebastain's picture

MY EXPERIENCE

I feel that I need to share my experience with taking the Abortion Pill. I actually was terrified after reading some of these stories. Some were more frightening than others. I basically scared myself into believing that the worst could happen. Like maybe I would die, have severe cramping and even the thought that the bleeding wouldn't stop. I took the first pill on 7/5/2011 at 5 weeks. I really felt nothing at all. 7/6/2011 I took a tylenol with codeine pill 30 mins before i was to take the remaining 4 pills at 11am. I was terrified and nervous of what the outcome would be like. I let the pills dissolve for until 1130am as directed. As soon as I swallowed the remaining of what was left of the pill it came back up. Lucky for me I had placed my trash can by my bed. I called planned parenthood right after and was told that I would be fine as long as I let the pills dissolve in my cheeks for 30mins. 5 mins later I saw spotting of blood. I got into the bed and fell asleep. I bought a heating pad to ease the cramps. Which for me were not that terrible. I was able to sleep through the cramps as they were very moderate. On a scale of 1-10 the highest being the worst my cramping was more like a 4. Because the heating pad helped. I never had to take any of the ibuprofen. Around 1pm after waking up I did however have diarrhea and vomiting at the same time. So make sure there is a trash can in the bathroom with you. HERE IS ANOTHER WAY TO SOOTHE YOUR CRAMPING: Place a towel in the tub and soak it with water for you to lay on and another towel to lay over your body and run the shower on your stomach. Make sure the water is warmer than extremely hot. Lay there as long as you need to. Once you get out make sure right after that you eat a something and take another pain pill and use your heating pad. You will sleep. My cramps lasted for 5 hours. My bleeding was lighter than I thought. Buy 2 packs of pads because you will want to change every time you bleed. My blood clots were very small. Some were as small as a dot from a pen but like multiple spots and smaller than a dime. The only thing that was big like the palm of my hand was my yolk that came out. That was me passing the baby. I bled for 6 days but each day lighter than the next. My follow up was 7/12/2011 and after the ultrasound everything was done and complete and I was finished. So please do not scare yourself into believing that you will not be able to have another baby and that you are going to bleed to death. Be calm and relaxed. Everyone's body is different and may go through different changes. Mines was not as bad as some of the stories you may read. Good luck in whatever you decide to do and make sure that is a choice of your own. Do not let anyone determine what you should do with the life of your unborn child. I let my boyfriend at the time force me into getting this done and I have cried so hard that I cannot imagine me getting pregnant again. I want to have a baby with someone who will be just as happy as I was. Good luck and God bless you all.

GeeGee's picture

Honest "Review"

I was a little leary after reading most of the posts left on this topic. It was hard to decipher what was real and what was put out there just to scare us. Anyhow, I just went through a medical abortion last week. I'll tell you exactly what I have been experiencing. I'm 39 and have never had a full term pregnancy. I'm in good shape with no medical problems.

I had the Doctor's office visit July 6th. They did the ultrasound and had to use the wand internally, but it was totally painless. I was about 5 weeks along. I was given my options about the types of abortions. For reasons that don't really matter to any of you, I chose the pill because I could not tell my husband about the pregnancy and thought I could do it alone.

I took the first pill at the Dr office. I was sent home and instructed to take the next 4 pills orally at midnight. I had zero side effects from the first pill. As instructed, I took one 800 mg Ibuprofin and 2 vicodins about 30 minutes before the 4 pills. At midnight, I let the 4 pills disolve. A weird side effect of disolving the pills was pain in my cheeks and a sore throat. I felt some minor cramping before the pills were even fully disolved. One really freaky thing happened within 15 minutes...I had tingling and numbness in my hands. It only lasted 10 minutes, but was kind of scary. Within 30 minutes, I had severe cramping. Not like I was dying, but worse than any regular cramps I've ever had. I felt pressure like I had to go to the bathroom and then had some diarrhea. Nothing major; more of a nuisance. I got the shakes and was sick to my stomach, but never threw up. I sat on the toilet about 30 minutes with severe cramps and then the pain meds started to kick in and I felt euphoric and sleepy. I laid down for about an hour and dozed, but woke up with more cramps.

The cramps came in quick waves. Severe for several seconds and then they would let up for a few seconds. I went to the bathroom again and some blood started to trickle. Then a walnut sized clump came out. It had a greyish color surrounding it. I went back to bed and fell asleep for 2 more hours. I just kept getting up and passing blood and smaller clots. My pads were not even getting soaked inbetween. The cramps got better by morning.

I stayed in bed all day on Thursday and just told my husband I was sick. I was incredibly tired and slept for almost the entire day. I kept taking the ibuprofin and vicodin as instructed and the pain was not too bad.

I've had consistent bleeding the last 4 days with a few little clots. Mild cramps come and go. My abdomen seems swollen and a little tender, but my appetite is fine. My breasts had gotten huge and really sore the 5 weeks I was pregnant and that symptom has not gone away. Anyone know how long that takes? I've heard it takes a while for the hormones to get out of your system.

All in all, it was not as bad as I had expected after reading some of these horror stories. I would not choose the pill option, however, if I had to do it over. If you are early enough along, you can choose aspiration and the healing/bleeding time is much quicker. I am not sure how I am going to explain a possible 10-30 days of bleeding to my husband.

No matter how you look at this, it stinks. I feel for all of you going through it. Make sure you get pain meds and take all your antibiotics. This is nothing to fool around with. I'll write an update after I go to my follow up appointment on the 21st. Good luck to everyone.

jb's picture

Everyone is different....

Just like any drug that is taken everybody reacts differently... Not everyone is going to have a painful experience not everyone is gonna be painless. Use at your own risk. It reacts differently for everyone. Just as every other medication taken. So maybe the people posting that were in pain are not here to scare anyone they are just sharing their experience as you are. Be respectful and educate people not put them down or make it seem like its the best choice. This is a hard enough decision as it is they dont need everyone else over react toward it. So you either take it or you don't it's your choice but you wont find out what is going to happen with YOUR body until you take it for yourself.

cam's picture

Is it normal???

I just took my second set of pills last night at 11 and ive been bleding but not a lot, i feel totally fine except by some cramps that feel like period cramps but nothing crazy. Im worried that the pills havent worked and im going to have to do surgery.. Please if anyone can help me let me know..

San Sebastain's picture

Don't feel that way cause I

Don't feel that way cause I know I did too. I just recently yesterday 7/12/2011 did my follow up and everything worked out. Just relax and let the pill take it's effect on what it is supposed to do.

Ana's picture

What may happen if I take the

What may happen if I take the second abortion pills one week after I tooke the first one at the doctor's office?

Serendip Visitor's picture

reply to ana

It doesn't work after 36 hours are up after you've took the first pill .

Serendip Visitor's picture

wheww . its over .

Hello again . Welp I took the 4 pills yesterday (7/8/2011) around 4 but it didn't start workin til about 7 . For all who didntg read my last post I was only 6 1/2 weeks pregnant . When it started I stayed on the toilet the whoole time in soo much pain . I tried rocking back n forth to see if the pain would calm down even just a lil bit but noo . I didn't bleed that mucb but the pain seem to get worse as the I passed tissue and the baby . It was over for me within a hour and 20 mins . During the process I had the chills and my temperture did go up and down . I experienced vomittin and diaherrea as well . It was reaally painful but not that bad . I'm bleeding now but as a moderate light period with light cramping . The doctor said that bleeding up to 3 weeks is a normal process and after that I should get my regular period 4-6 weeks after . So besides that the pills worked normal for me and I had experienced all side effects besides headaches . I hope everything goes good for yooh girls and its okay to be nervous and scared because believe me I was, but now everything is okay . My next check up is Thursday the 14th so I'll be back to post how that went . Be strong ladies the pain lightens up a lot more after yooh pass through the baby . Good luck and God Bless .

Serendip Visitor's picture

can i handle it

Hi, I am about to turn 20 at the end of this month and I'm 5.5 weeks pregnant. I'm struggling financially. Family is not worth depending on for support and help. The guy I laid down with still act like a 10 year old little boy at times. I go to the doctors on 07/15/2011 to take my pill. I am afraid that I'm making a bad decision because I really could have prevented that situation. I need counseling to help me get through it. Did you feel the same way???

Serendip Visitor faith's picture

I am praying for you

Hey, I got your comment in my email.. I guess bc I previously looked at an abortion website from time to time. I got abortion in 2008. I was 17 at the time and already had a 2 year old little boy. I was very scared and thought I couldn't do it. It's 3 years later and I'm lucky to get through a day without thinking about my child. The child I will never get to meet, here laugh, or call me mommy. My life has changed so much since then. I have a 2 year old little girl now and my son is 5. Getting to my point I knew what I was doing was wrong when I went to take that first pill. But I went in there and swallowed it before I could let myself change my mind. It has haunted me badly. Yea you might not think you can do it but trust me you can. And if you can't there is always adoption. Pray and seek God he will show you. My b day is on the 15 I'll be 21 I know what it's like being a young mother and I also know what's it's like to have an abortion and give up your child for selfish reasons. Trust me you dont want to live with that for the rest of your life. I will be praying for you Hun.

sarah's picture

abortion pill

i was worried that is i took the pills that if i had to go to hospital that it would be picked up in blood tests that they would do and go on my records at the doctors as i don,t what this is there any thing i can do

Serendip Visitor's picture

reply to sarah (abortion pill)

It shouldn't show up in your blood test . But just incase do more research abouut it .

Serendip Visitor's picture

scared .

Hello, I'm 21 years old and I'm 6 1/2 weeks pregnant . I went to take my first abortion pill yesterday (7/7/2011) and today around 4:05pm I have to take the other 4 pills . I'm scared to death and really hopes this goes well . I've thrown up like 4 times today and don't even know why . I haven't really had a appetite to eat and I believe I supposed to have a nice meal before I take the pills . Right now I just feel sick to my stomach and I haven't really got out of bed . Just been sippin on water . I can't have the baby because I'm not ready to be a mother . I just want some encouragement .

Serendip Visitor's picture

You'll be fine..

I am on my second full day after taking my four pills. I have been a bit nauseous but have found that over the counter anti-nausea meds do the trick just fine (the chewables work the fastest..literally have saved me a few times). It's best to keep a hot water bottle or heating pad around for the cramps and be sure to take your painkillers and ibuprofen an hour before you take the 4 pills. That way they will have well kicked in by the time the other meds do. Be sure to take the pain meds and ibuprofen every 5 hours. Just relax and get as comfortable as possible, for most people the medication will start the abortion process within a few hours. Try and stay awake for the first 8 hours simply to monitor the amount you are bleeding. If you have to sleep set an alarm for an hour or two just to be sure.

Anassa kata, '05's picture

Serendip is so amazing, loan payments hurt less.

Ladies and girls doing your research about early abortion options, a word:

You already know, but it helps to know again. Every body is different, and only you know your life and mind. Trust yourself to make the best decision for you.

When a uterus moves something from inside itself down through an opening in the cervix into the vagina--whether that something is your period, an embryo or fetus, or a fully grown baby--that strong muscular organ has to contract. The muscle clenches and releases, and this is why you feel cramping. The opening in your cervix is *tiny tiny tiny,* and tinier if you have never given birth before. The larger the object passing through that point, the more it will hurt. Among other reasons, this is why the sooner, the better when a woman chooses abortion.

It is guaranteed that any way you deal with this pregnancy is going to physically hurt, and you are going to bleed. This is life--life hurts and life bleeds us. Life gives us the chance to heal and learn.

<3 <3 Take care of yourselves out there! <3 <3

--former Planned Parenthood counselor, current nursing student, personal experience with abortion and miscarriage

Serendip Visitor's picture

m really worried

hi i took the first pill yesterday and some ppl are telling me that i wont be able to have a baby again now m worried nd tense what if i never concieve again..i mean can i avoid taking the second pill and mange to carry this pregenancy.

visitor's picture

thats not true, dont allow

thats not true, dont allow anyone scare you, no one will be offered to take the pills at marie stopes if they well know the pills wont make you able to concieve again.

Serendip Visitor's picture

abortion pill

Don't be afraid. I never heard anything about not being able to conceive again. If you do not take the other set of pills then your baby can be born with problems. But do not be scared. I was terrified. I took my first pill on the 5th which was tuesday and I took the other 4 pills yesterday on wednesday.

visitor's picture

hi

How long pregnant were u at the time??? did it work???

Haley's picture

to the girl asking if she willl be barren

this is in response to :
"hi i took the first pill yesterday and some ppl are telling me that i wont be able to have a baby again now m worried nd tense what if i never concieve again..i mean can i avoid taking the second pill and mange to carry this pregenancy."

Two things - taking the pill does not make you barren unless you have rare &/or severe complications. However, you SHOULDN'T take it if you are in your second trimester!!
The second point is in answer to your question - YES, YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND and NOT take the second pill!
However, if you are seriously changing your mind and want to keep your baby or select another option and NOT abort, then call a doctor who can give you something to counteract any effect of the first pill. The first pill does not necessarily kill the baby and there are many stories of girls who have changed their mind, skipped the second pill, and deliveered healthy babies. Look into this online - but seriously, go to a regular doctor NOT the one who gave you the pills. Find a real OBGYN or go to the hospital emergency room. Make sure you find the right doctor and tell them you NEED to save this baby and please tell you your best chances.

Good luck whatever you do. Remember, you will most likely be ok either way; you probably will be able to have kids in the future, but you can also have a healthy baby if you choose at this point even though you took the first pill. Just see a doctor as soon as possible.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Generally speaking, the first

Generally speaking, the first pill is what terminates the pregnancy not the second ones. The first pills stop the body from producing progesterone, which is essential for the continuation of the pregnancy. If you were to only take the first pill without the second ones, the embryo would come out at a later more unpredictable time. The second set of pills only clear out the uterus, it doesn't cause the termination, but allows you to better plan and control when the evacuation will happen. I have never heard of this being reversed, however in very limited cases it doesn't work and the woman continues to be pregnant. The chance of severe birth defects and deformity is extremely high if this happens.

Serendip Visitor's picture

My situation is diffrent

I had the abortion pill last week. My situation is diffrent than all of you because I am virgin. My culture is very stricked about this and girls should lose their virginity when they get married only. This is very serious and I was shoked when I knew I am pregnant because I was virgin, and me and my boyfriend were just playing around it, I mean it is really rare to get pregnant without deep inserting. I chose to take the pill because they told me its gonna be like heavy perion and It will not damage the area. I did take it and It was not that bad experiance...my only concern is that my follow up appointmment gonna be next Thursday and I am sooooo scared that they will tell me I will need a surgical abortion in case it was not complete abortion...if i did a surgical abortion they will insert instrument in me and this will defintly damage the area and this will leave me with not only the guilt of aboting but also loosing my virginity and living in shame all my life...I know it will sounds funny to some of you but loosing my virginity is really serious to me...my question is how many women had to do a surgical abortion after taking the pills?...thanks

Serendip Visitor's picture

abortion pill fee

hi, so i do not know yet if i am pregnant...i am three days late,
but i have to keep in mind that if i end up pregnant i will abort it
because i cannot afford to have a child and it will grow up without a dad

now it sounds easy to go and get the pill
but wat worries me the most is not being able
to pay for it....what if i have no income, no insurance
and the baby's dad will definitely will not be there

can they help me pay for the abortion?
if they dont charge me all of it do i have to
pay up front? or can i make payment plans?

again i hope i dont get critiziced by asking this question
again im not ignorant, i had sex with protection
unfortunately it can fail and i feel thats what happened to me
i am not ready to become a mother or bring a child to suffer to
this world

San Sebastain's picture

apply for emergency medi-cal.

apply for emergency medi-cal. that will pay for it. that's what i am going to do today.

Serendip Visitor's picture

abortion pill fee

is there any things i need to take?

if i apply for it will my job find out about it?

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