Many women have considered taking the abortion pill in Oakland like our patient, Ciara, who came to Support Circle to confirm her pregnancy. Ciara knew of a friend who had taken the abortion pill. One of the services Support Circle provides Bay Area women, like Ciara, who may be considering their pregnancy options, is information on the abortion pill, if requested. Our professional, licensed nurses provide accurate medical information to help our patients make informed decisions.Women with a pregnancy of less than 10 weeks who are considering an early term abortion have the option to choose the abortion pill. The abortion pill is sometimes referred to as a medical abortion because medicine, not surgery, is used to end the pregnancy. Unlike surgical abortions, medical abortions can be completed in the woman’s home.
Abortion Pill Regimen
While it sounds like just one simple pill is all that is needed, the abortion pill is actually a two-drug regimen. The combination of two prescription drugs, Mifepristone (also known as Mifeprex) and Misopristol (also known as Cytotec) disrupt an existing pregnancy (but not if it is an ectopic pregnancy – a different procedure or medication will be needed). Pharmacies, such as Walgreens Pharmacy and CVS Pharmacy, do not dispense the abortion pill in Oakland. The abortion pill requires a prescription and in California must be dispensed at a medical clinic or hospital. Women may begin the drug regimen with Mifepristone in the medical clinic or at home. Mifepristone starts the abortion by blocking the natural pregnancy hormone progesterone, softening the cervix and causing the uterine lining to shed. Misopristol completes the process by expunging the contents of the uterus.
Medical vs Surgical Abortion
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), “Most women choose medical abortion because of a desire to avoid surgery, a perception that medical abortion is safer than surgical abortion, and a belief that medical abortion is more natural and private than a surgical procedure. Compared with surgical abortion, medical abortion takes longer to complete (days to weeks), requires more active patient participation, and is associated with higher reported rates of bleeding and cramping. With medical abortion, expulsion of the products of conception most likely will occur at home, but a few women will still require surgical evacuation to complete the abortion.”
What to Expect
The abortion pill process could take several days or weeks to complete. During this time, ACOG further informs that women most commonly experience heavy bleeding and blood clots, pain, fever, chills, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, pelvic cramping, headaches and diarrhea. “Counseling should emphasize that the woman is likely to have bleeding that is much heavier than menses (and potentially with severe cramping) and is best described to patients as comparable with a miscarriage. The woman should understand how much bleeding is considered too much. An easy reference for the patient to use is the soaking of two maxi pads per hour for 2 consecutive hours.”
Bleeding or spotting may last for 30 days or more and can be expected for an average of 9 to 16 days according to the drug manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, which distributes Mifespristone under the brand name Mifeprex.
Unlike a surgical abortion, women who choose a medical abortion experience their abortion over a period of days or weeks at home, usually without trained medical personnel to assist. A follow-up visit 7-14 days after Mifepristone is taken, is required to confirm the contents of the uterus was fully expunged.
After coming alongside her friend that chose a medical abortion and observing her friend’s emotional experience, Ciara decided not to have a medical abortion. She did come to Support Circle to help process her own thoughts surrounding her pregnancy and received a free ultrasound, which confirmed and dated Ciara’s pregnancy.
As in Ciara’s case, prior to administering or prescribing the abortion pill in Oakland, CA, the medical provider must confirm if the woman is pregnant and verify the date of her pregnancy. This is done using an ultrasound. Support Circle offers free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds at our Oakland clinic. Our nurses can provide a pregnancy verification that can be used whether the woman decides on abortion, adoption, or parenting.
Support Circle provides information about the abortion pill but does not prescribe or dispense these medications.
Think You May Be Pregnant?
Call or walk-in today. Remember, all of the services we provide are 100% confidential, at no cost to you, and will not show up on your insurance. Consider calling us today at 510-891-9998 or visit our Oakland clinic at 400 30th Street, Suite 401. We look forward to serving you.
To safeguard against conflicts of interest (such as profiting from any medical procedures you pursue related to your pregnancy), Support Circle provides information about abortion procedures to our patients, but does not perform or refer for abortion. We also do not operate as an adoption agency, or perform/refer for labor and delivery.