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The Abortion Pill | Get the Facts About Medication Abortion
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The Abortion Pill
How does the abortion pill work?
What can I expect after I take the abortion pill?
How do I use the abortion pill?
How safe is the abortion pill?
How do I get the abortion pill?
How much does the abortion pill cost?
The Abortion Pill | Planned Parenthood Video
The Abortion Pill | Planned Parenthood Video
What is the abortion pill?
Medication abortion — also called the abortion pill — is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.
How does the abortion pill work?
“Abortion pill” is the common name for using two different medicines to end a pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol.
First, you take a pill called mifepristone. Pregnancy needs a hormone called progesterone to grow normally. Mifepristone blocks your body’s own progesterone, stopping the pregnancy from growing.
Then you take the second medicine, misoprostol, either right away or up to 48 hours later. This medicine causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus. It’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is very similar to an early miscarriage. If you don’t have any bleeding within 24 hours after taking the second medicine, call your nurse or doctor.
Your doctor or nurse will give you both medicines at the health center. When and where you’ll take them depends on state laws and your health center's policies. Your doctor or nurse will give you detailed directions about where, when, and how to take the medicines. You may also get some antibiotics to prevent infection.
How effective is the abortion pill?
The abortion pill is very effective. The effectiveness depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy when you take the medicine.
For people who are 8 weeks pregnant or less, it works about 94-98 out of 100 times.
For people who are 8-9 weeks pregnant, it works about 94-96 out of 100 times.
For people who are 9-10 weeks pregnant, it works about 91-93 out of 100 times. If you're given an extra dose of medicine, it works about 99 out of 100 times.
For people who are 10-11 weeks pregnant, it works about 87 out of 100 times. If you're given an extra dose of medicine, it works about 98 out of 100 times.
The abortion pill usually works, but if it doesn’t, you can take more medicine or have an in-clinic abortion to complete the abortion.
When can I take the abortion pill?
Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a medication abortion up to 77 days (11 weeks) after the first day of your last period. If it has been 78 days or more since the first day of your last period, you can have an in-clinic abortion to end your pregnancy.
Why do people choose the abortion pill?
Which kind of abortion you choose all depends on your personal preference and situation. With medication abortion, some people like that you don’t need to have a procedure in a doctor’s office. You can have your medication abortion at home or in another comfortable place that you choose. You get to decide who you want to be with during your abortion, or you can go it alone. Because medication abortion is similar to a miscarriage, many people feel like it’s more “natural” and less invasive.
Your doctor, nurse, or health center staff can help you decide which kind of abortion is best for you.
More questions from patients:
Can the abortion pill be reversed after you have taken it?
Here’s the deal: The “abortion pill” is the popular name for a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy using a combination of two medicines: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first medicine (mifepristone) is given at a health center or your health care provider’s office. After taking mifepristone, you take a second medication (misoprostol) at home 6-48 hours later. This causes cramping and bleeding and empties your uterus.
Claims about treatments that reverse the effects of medication abortion are out there, and a handful of states require doctors and nurses to tell their patients about them before they can provide abortion care. But these claims haven’t been proven in reliable medical studies — nor have they been tested for safety, effectiveness, or the likelihood of side effects — so experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reject these untested supposed treatments.
Studies on the abortion pill do show that if you take the first medicine but not the second, the abortion pill is less likely to work. So if you’ve begun the process of having an abortion using the abortion pill but are having second thoughts, contact the doctor or nurse you saw for the abortion right away to talk about your best next steps and what to expect.
What is the RU-486 abortion pill?
RU-486 is the former name of mifepristone — one of the medications that you take to have a medication abortion. RU-486 is now called "the abortion pill" or "Mifeprex" (the brand name for mifepristone).
RU-486 was developed in the 1980s. It's been safely used in Europe since 1987, and in the US since 2000.
RU-486 blocks a hormone that your body needs to continue a pregnancy. It works best when you use it with another medication called misoprostol, which causes bleeding to empty your uterus.
The RU-486 abortion pill is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.
What happens if I take the abortion pill after 11 weeks?
The abortion pill is very effective, but it works less well when you’re more than 8 weeks pregnant. The effectiveness depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy and when you take the medicine. After 11 weeks, there’s a bigger chance of stronger bleeding or cramps.
You can make sure that your medication abortion worked by taking a pregnancy test, ultrasound, or blood test. Your nurse or doctor will also walk you through everything you need to know during your medication abortion appointment.
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Abortion - NHS
An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy.
It's also sometimes known as a termination of pregnancy.
The pregnancy is ended either by taking medicines or having a surgical procedure.
Abortion services are still open. You can self-refer by contacting an abortion provider directly.
They can explain how their services are working at the moment.
How to get an abortion
Abortions can only be carried out under the care of an NHS hospital or a licensed clinic, and are usually available free of charge on the NHS.
There are 3 main ways to get an abortion on the NHS:
you can self-refer by contacting an abortion provider directly – the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), MSI Reproductive Choices UK, the National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service (NUPAS) or your local NHS sexual health website can tell you about eligibility and services in your area
speak to a GP and ask for a referral to an abortion service – the GP should refer you to another doctor if he or she has any objections to abortion
contact asexual health clinic (sometimes called family planning or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics) and ask for a referral to an abortion service
Waiting times can vary, but you should not have to wait more than 2 weeks from when you (or a doctor) first contact an abortion provider to having an abortion.
You can also pay for an abortion privately (not on the NHS) if you prefer. Costs for private abortions vary depending on the stage of pregnancy and the method used to carry out the procedure.
When an abortion can be carried out
Most abortions in England, Wales and Scotland are carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
They can be carried out after 24 weeks in very limited circumstances – for example, if the mother's life is at risk or the child would be born with a severe disability.
Most abortion services will ask to perform an ultrasound scan to work out how many weeks pregnant you are. The length of pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last period.
Abortions are safer the earlier they're carried out. Getting advice early on will give you more time to make a decision if you're unsure.
Deciding to have an abortion
The decision to have an abortion is yours alone.
Some women may be certain they want to have an abortion, while others may find it more difficult to make a decision.
All women requesting an abortion can discuss their options with, and receive support from, a trained pregnancy counsellor if they wish.
Impartial information and support are available from:
your GP or another doctor at your GP practice
a counselling service at the abortion clinic
organisations such as Brook (for under-25s), BPAS, MSI Reproductive Choices UK and NUPAS
You may also want to speak to your partner, friends or family, but you do not have to. They do not have a say in your decision.
If you do not want to tell anyone, your details will be kept confidential.
If you're under 16, your parents do not usually need to be told. The doctor or nurse may encourage you to tell a parent, carer or other adult you trust, but they will not make you.
There are organisations, usually known as crisis pregnancy centres, that offer counselling around pregnancy. They do not refer people for abortion, and may not offer balanced or accurate advice.
If you go to a place that offers pregnancy counselling and you're not sure if they will refer you for an abortion, ask if they refer people for an abortion.
What happens during an abortion
Before having an abortion, you'll have an appointment to talk about your decision and what happens next.
Whenever possible, you should be given a choice of how you would like the abortion to be carried out.
There are 2 options:
medical abortion ("abortion pill") – you take 2 medicines, usually 24 to 48 hours apart, to induce an abortion
surgical abortion – you have a procedure to remove the pregnancy and normally go home soon afterwards
After an abortion, you'll probably need to take things easy for a few days. It's likely you'll have some discomfort and vaginal bleeding for up to 2 weeks.
Read more about how an abortion is carried out.
Risks of an abortion
Abortion is a safe procedure. Abortions are safest, and happen with less pain and bleeding, when carried out as early as possible in pregnancy.
Most women will not experience any problems, but there is a small risk of complications, such as:
infection of the womb (uterus)
some of the pregnancy remaining in the womb
damage to the womb or entrance of the womb (cervix)
If complications do occur, you may need further treatment, including surgery.
Having an abortion will not affect your chances of becoming pregnant again and having normal pregnancies in the future.
You may be able to get pregnant immediately after an abortion. You should use contraception if you do not want to get pregnant.
Read more about the risks of abortion.
Page last reviewed: 24 April 2020 Next review due: 24 April 2023
Medical termination of pregnancy in the early stages in Nizhny Novgorod at the Tonus clinic, medical abortion, mini abortion
Termination of pregnancy is an important step in the life of a woman who is going to do this. It is important to think carefully about everything, and also, to choose a clinic where you would like to have an abortion. After you have made up your mind, the question arises, where to have an abortion? Not all clinics are licensed to perform abortions, so if you want to do abortion, clinic , in which it will be performed, must have the appropriate permission.
In our country, at her own request, a woman can have an abortion for up to 12 weeks. There are also various indications for termination of pregnancy. Abortion for social reasons a woman can do up to 22 weeks, for medical - at any stage of pregnancy.
Abortion in this case is performed after determining the indications for it by a gynecologist and related specialists. The reason for termination of pregnancy for medical reasons can be both a serious pathology on the part of the woman and on the part of the fetus. Only a competent and experienced gynecologist will help you decide on the choice of the method of abortion - medical, mini-abortion or surgical.
The best is early termination of pregnancy . Early termination of pregnancy reduces the risk of complications in the future and can be carried out without the use of invasive techniques.
Early termination of pregnancy. Medical abortion
Medical abortion is one of the safest methods and an excellent alternative to surgical abortion. Medical abortion is performed up to 6 weeks of pregnancy. When holding medical termination of pregnancy in the early stages, drugs are used that, by their mechanism of action, inhibit the synthesis of progesterone.
Medical abortion is performed only under the strict supervision of a gynecologist. After medical termination of pregnancy, an ultrasound scan is required to examine the uterine cavity.
Early termination of pregnancy by medical abortion method does not impair the woman's reproductive function. According to many studies, after medical termination of pregnancy, ovulation is restored in the shortest possible time. An additional positive quality of medical abortion is the possibility of its implementation directly on the day of treatment.
Early termination of pregnancy - mini-abortion
Mini-abortion as a method of early termination of pregnancy can be performed from 6 to 12 weeks. The main technique for mini-abortion is vacuum aspiration. The fertilized egg is removed from the uterine cavity using a special electric suction. This option for early termination of pregnancy is more gentle than the standard options for surgical abortion.
We must not forget that the sooner have an abortion , the lower the risk of complications.
The procedure takes about 5 minutes and the woman can go home within a few hours after the procedure. The uterine mucosa, unlike curettage, is slightly injured. A contraindication to abortion in this way is the presence of infection in the acute period. After the mini-abortion, a control ultrasound examination of the uterine cavity is performed.
Where to have an abortion?
Many women (especially young women), in order not to advertise their pregnancy, start looking for options, where to have an abortion . It must be remembered that it is most correct to have an abortion in a clinic, under the supervision of specialists, and not with the help of folk remedies.
An abortion made outside the walls of a medical institution that has the right to perform this manipulation is called criminal. A self-performed abortion by untested means can lead to serious consequences. In this case, a woman risks not only the possibility of having children in the future, but also her health.
Termination of pregnancy by indications or at the request of a woman for a period of 6 to 12 weeks can be performed by curettage of the uterine cavity. This procedure is a surgical procedure and requires preparation. As with any other operation, all the necessary tests are given. Termination of pregnancy is carried out on an empty stomach, as the woman is given anesthesia.
In the postoperative period during the month you need to refrain from sexual intercourse, do not go to the sauna, bath, bathing in water, it is not recommended to take a bath. All these measures are aimed at preventing infection.
It is also not advisable to overcool, be subjected to excessive stress and physical exertion for some time. It is necessary to give the body a rest, so that in the future there will be no problems with conception.
After the abortion, it is necessary to visit a gynecologist. During the appointment, the doctor will conduct a comprehensive examination with obligatory ultrasound control, as well as select the optimal method of contraception, which will help to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the future, and therefore new abortions. A large number of abortions brings with it a large number of complications that can affect the reproductive potential of a woman.
Psychological support for a woman is also important, both before and after an abortion. The doctor in this case should be not only a competent specialist, but also a sensitive psychologist who can encourage the patient.
A great role is given to conversations with a woman, since she must understand that the doctor is on her side and in no case condemns the perfect act.
Within a month after the abortion, women should monitor their well-being.
If you experience pain, bleeding, fever or other unusual phenomena, you should definitely visit a gynecologist for a comprehensive examination and identify the cause of the symptoms.
Where to have an abortion in Nizhny Novgorod?
Termination of pregnancy in Nizhny Novgorod is performed by experienced specialists at Tonus Medical Center. It is possible to carry out manipulations at various stages of pregnancy. An abortion performed at Tonus Medical Center is a safe procedure carried out by highly qualified doctors who choose an individual approach to each woman and provide reliable medical care.
You can make an appointment at the Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology by calling 8 (831) 411-11-22
Termination of breastfeeding | Stopping breastfeeding
When is it time to stop breastfeeding and what is the best way to do it? Read our article for useful practical tips on weaning.
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How long should breastfeeding continue? Three months? Six? Year? Or maybe a few years?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other authorities recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months and then continue to be breastfed along with other foods (complementary foods) for at least two years. 1
The fact is that breast milk is not just food. It is a natural sedative if the child is anxious or tired. In addition, milk contains immune-boosting components, the amount of which increases dramatically when the baby gets sick. 2
According to anthropologists, the natural age of a person to stop breastfeeding is even more than two years. Given factors such as tooth development, body weight, comparison with other primates, and historical evidence, some scientists believe that breastfeeding may last up to two to four years. A number of researchers even believe that our ancestors breastfed children up to six or seven years of age. 3
Today, more than 60% of mothers in developed countries start giving their babies formula or complementary foods before six months of age, 4 although WHO does not recommend this.
When is it time to stop breastfeeding?
Weaning means that you gradually stop breastfeeding your baby. Ideally, the first step in this process is the gradual introduction of complementary foods, starting at about six months of age. In this case, breastfeeding continues. The weaning process continues until the mother's milk has been completely replaced by other foods and drinks.
“After six months, the baby needs higher doses of some nutrients, such as iron, zinc, vitamins B and D, that he cannot get from breast milk or from his own reserves,” says Sarah Beeson, health visitor from Great Britain.
“But solid food should at first only supplement the main diet with breast milk and gradually replace it. Mother's milk remains the main source of nutrition for the baby for many months to come. ”
On average, a seven-month-old baby gets 93% of its calories from breast milk. And even between the 11th and 16th months, milk provides him with about half of the daily calorie intake. 5
“Sometimes moms think that breastmilk is not so important once the baby has started solid foods, but in reality, no matter how many months old the baby is, there is nothing better for him than your milk,” continues Sarah.
In fact, the process of finishing breastfeeding can take as long as mother and baby want. “When to stop breastfeeding is up to you,” says Sarah. The only thing that matters is what you think is right for you and your child.”
How to wean
Whenever you decide to start weaning your baby, it is best to do it gradually. An abrupt cessation of breastfeeding can lead to lactostasis, blockage of the milk ducts and mastitis, and in a child such a sudden change can adversely affect the state of the digestive and immune systems. In addition, it will be difficult for both of you psychologically.
When should I stop breastfeeding?
Sometimes mothers mistakenly believe that it is time to stop breastfeeding, when in fact there is no reason to. If you're returning to work, breastfeeding can be a great way to stay close to your baby during this difficult time for both of you. You can express milk at work, and morning and evening feeding sessions will give you the opportunity to spend time alone with your baby. If you need to leave without your baby, you can also express milk and bring or send it home.
If you get sick, this is not always a reason to stop breastfeeding. Read our advice in the article on breastfeeding when sick and consult with your healthcare professional.
Weaning up to six months
If you cannot continue breastfeeding until six months and want to try weaning your baby, start by replacing one feeding a day with a bottle of formula.
“It's best to start with midday feedings. Babies are very alert and able to smell breast milk nearby, so ask your partner or relative to give your baby a bottle when you're in the other room,” Sarah advises.
“Be hygienic when preparing food. Be prepared for the fact that the baby will take fewer servings of expressed milk per day than if he was fed directly from the breast. Don't make him eat more milk than he wants."
You will probably feel that your breasts are fuller and more tender. This is due to the fact that your body is rebuilding to produce less milk. If this creates discomfort, try expressing some milk—just enough to relieve the discomfort without stimulating extra production.
When your body adjusts to the new volume - usually after a few days - replace with formula for one more meal a day. Continue this until you have changed all feedings and your baby is completely weaned.
“I had complications after my first birth, as a result I lost a lot of weight very quickly, and besides, I developed mastitis. Lactation was very weak, and at three months I was forced to stop breastfeeding,” recalls Jennifer, a mother of two from the UK, “I gradually replaced one feeding, so physically it was easy, but mentally it was hard for me. ”
If you want to maintain closeness with your baby and all the health benefits of breastfeeding, but still need to cut down on breastfeeding, try partial weaning, replacing only a few feeds a day with formula.
Weaning after six months
Once your baby starts eating solid foods (about six months old), you will notice that breastfeeding naturally occurs less and less. For a year, it can be reduced to just a couple of times a day, and feedings will be replaced by full meals and healthy snacks.
Anyway, if you intend to continue to reduce breastfeeding, do it gradually, replacing one feeding at a time. Use formula milk if your baby is under 12 months old. With cow's milk, you should wait at least up to a year.
“When I decided to wean my son, I breastfed him three times a day and gave him other foods three times plus light snacks. Gradually, I replaced all breastfeedings with formula. By 11 months, we only had one nighttime breastfeed left,” says Ruth, a UK mom.
There are various ways to distract a child from changes in his diet. Some mothers suggest that instead of breastfeeding something to drink and eat together to maintain a sense of closeness. You can also change your daily routine, play your favorite game, or replace feeding with caresses - from you or from your partner. Some children take longer to get used to the new food, but in the end everything falls into place. If you are having difficulty weaning, ask your healthcare provider for advice.
Ending breastfeeding naturally
Ending breastfeeding can be guided by the baby's wishes. This is called baby-initiated weaning, or the natural termination of breastfeeding. Such a process is likely to be long and gradual. Month after month, feeding sessions will become shorter and less frequent, until one day the child completely loses interest in the breast.
“My daughter stopped breastfeeding on her own when she was four years old,” says Sarah, a mother from the UK. And once, when we were on vacation, she seemed to just forget about her breasts. Now, six months later, she sometimes still asks for breasts, but she already knows that there is no milk there.
You will have a huge amount of time for the body to adapt, so there should be no discomfort or swelling of the breast. However, you may find it difficult emotionally, so spend more time petting and bonding with your baby.
“Child-initiated termination of breastfeeding was right for me because I never gave my son formula or a bottle. I didn’t want to abruptly stop feeding and refuse him,” recalls Kelly, a mother from the UK, “He himself lost interest in breasts at the age of two and a half years. For us, it was the best scenario, although emotionally it was not very easy for me.”
What if you need to stop breastfeeding quickly?
It is best not to stop breastfeeding abruptly, but sometimes it is necessary for medical reasons or because you cannot be near your baby.
If you have been breastfeeding your baby up to this point, you will most likely have to express milk to avoid breast swelling. Some mothers prefer to use a breast pump for this, others find it easier to express milk manually. You only need to pump a little, just to eliminate the discomfort, otherwise your body will take it as a signal to produce more milk.
At first, the breasts may swell and become tender, but this will pass. Breast milk contains a so-called feedback lactation inhibitor. When breastfeeding is stopped, this inhibitor tells your body to slow down milk production, but it can take days or even weeks for your breasts to rebuild.
Some medications can relieve pain and should be discussed with your doctor. Always follow your pharmacist's instructions or directions, and consult your healthcare professional before taking any medication.
“I had to abruptly stop breastfeeding when my daughter was eight months old because she had to take strong painkillers,” says Peggy, a mother from Switzerland. “It was very difficult because the baby was constantly looking for a breast and crying. I held her tightly to me as I gave her a bottle. This calmed her, and after a month everything was all right.
Can I continue breastfeeding if I want to get pregnant again?
Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive. However, this method is not the most reliable, especially after six months or if you are not exclusively breastfeeding. This means that you can get pregnant even while you are breastfeeding.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers sometimes receive conflicting advice about whether to stop breastfeeding. Consistent feeding of two children of different ages is of course possible, and with the advent of the second baby, your body will produce the kind of milk that both of them need.
It is not uncommon for an older child to refuse breastfeeding or start skipping feedings if the mother is pregnant. This may be due to changes in milk composition that occur during pregnancy. Milk can change the taste and become less sweet. 6 If your baby is under one year of age when he starts to stop breastfeeding, make sure he continues to gain weight.
Talk to your doctor if you want to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy but have had a preterm birth or miscarriage, or have any bleeding in the past.
If you need medical help to conceive, some drugs and procedures may not be suitable while you are breastfeeding. Discuss all possible options before deciding to stop breastfeeding.
Whenever you decide to end breastfeeding, and whatever method you choose to do so, be kind to yourself and your baby. This is a huge change for both of you physically, hormonally, and emotionally, so proceed thoughtfully and carefully.
“Although my body responded well to stopping breastfeeding, it was psychologically difficult for me. The thing that united us for so long is over, - Jane, a mother of two children from the USA, shares her impressions, - I worked long hours, five days a week, and breastfeeding made me feel that I occupy a special place in the lives of children. But when it stopped, we soon found other ways to be together.”
1 World Health Organization. [Internet] Health Topics: Breastfeeding: 2018 [Accessed: 02/08/2018]. Available from : http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en - World Health Organization. "Health Issues: Breastfeeding" [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2018 [Visit 02/08/2018]. Article linked: http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/e
2 Hassiotou et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4): e 3. - Hassiot F. et al., "Infectious diseases of the mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte reaction in breast milk." Clean Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4):e3.
3 Dettwyler KA. When to wean: biological versus cultural perspectives. Clin Obstet Gynecol . 2004; 47(3)712-723. - Dettwiler KA, "Time to wean: weaning from a biological and cultural point of view". Klin Obstet Ginekol (Clinical obstetrics and gynecology). 2004; 47(3):712-723.
4 Victora CG Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet. 2016;387(10017):475-490. - Victor S.J. et al., Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms and long-term effects. Lancet 2016;387(10017):475-490.
5 Dewey KG et al. Breast milk volume and composition during late lactation (7-20 months). J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr . 1984;3(5):713-720. — Dewey C.G. et al., "Amount and composition of breast milk in late lactation (7-20 months)". F Pediatrician Gastroenterol Nutr. 1984;3(5):713-720.
6 Prosser CG et al. Mammary gland function during gradual weaning and early gestation in women.