Nowadays, many women will end their unexpected pregnancies in the privacy of their own homes by taking abortion pills without any in-person visits. Medication abortions are only FDA-approved within the first trimester (up to 10 weeks gestation).
As with any medical procedure, medication abortion comes with serious health risks to consider—especially when forgoing preliminary health screenings.
How Does an Online/At-Home Abortion Work?
In some states, abortion clinics offer telehealth consultations (eliminating in-person consultations as well as any health screenings such as ultrasounds) where you talk to a medical professional and then pick up prescribed drugs at the abortion clinic or local pharmacy.
Once you’ve received the abortion pill (which is actually a series of two drugs), you will take the first drug, mifepristone, which blocks the necessary pregnancy hormone progesterone. This will prevent the pregnancy from developing any further, as the lining of the uterus breaks down.
The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later. This second pill will force the uterus to contract and expel the embryo or fetus and pregnancy tissue through cramping and bleeding.
The average cost of medication abortion ranges from $500-$800.
What Are the Risks?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some disqualifiers to consider and be aware of if you’re considering this option:
- If you are later than 9 weeks into your pregnancy
- If you have an intrauterine device (IUD)
- If you have an ectopic pregnancy (located outside the uterus)
- If you have certain medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders; certain heart or blood vessel diseases, etc.
- If you take a blood thinner or certain steroid medications
- If you don’t have access to emergency care
If you do not have any of these pre-existing conditions, potential risks of medical abortion include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Schedule a Pregnancy Screening
To know if you qualify for an abortion, it’s wise to first confirm your pregnancy with lab-quality pregnancy testing and an ultrasound. This will eliminate the possibility of an untreated tubal/ectopic pregnancy. At Hope Women’s Center, we offer both of these pregnancy health services at no cost.