Elective Medical Abortion
Alternate Names : Induced Abortion, Interruption of Pregnancy
What happens right after the procedure?
A medical abortion can take from 3 days to 3 to 4 weeks.
After the first medicine (methotrexate or mifepristone) is given for a medical
abortion, the woman can go home. Some women will have vaginal bleeding
after the first medicine. The bleeding can range from light to heavy.
The woman will return to the doctor for a second visit to take the
misoprostol. The uterine cramping caused by this medicine might result in
the embryo being expelled right away while at the doctor's office. In other
cases, the tissue is assed later at home. Many women will have cramps
for several hours
and pass blood clots as they are aborting. Most of these symptoms should
start to taper off after the embryo has been passed. Bleeding can
last for 1 or 2 weeks more. Headache,
can also be caused by misoprostol.
Finally, a third visit will be made so that the doctor can
check to be sure that the abortion was complete. Of the women who take
methotrexate, 80% to 85% will abort within 2 weeks. A woman who takes
longer may need more misoprostol. With mifepristone, 95% to 97% of the
women will expel the uterine contents within 2 weeks. About 5% of the
women who choose to have an elective medical abortion require a surgical
abortion because the medicine does not work.
After any abortion, a woman with Rh negative
blood should be given an injection of Rh immune globulin unless the father
is also known to have Rh negative blood. Pain medicines
may also be prescribed. Sometimes antibiotics are needed to help prevent