Abortion Pill

Abortion Pill

Quality Compassionate Reproductive Health Care Personalized to Fit Your Needs

What is the Abortion Pill?

The Abortion Pill, also called RU-486, uses two kinds of of medication (mifepristone and misoprostol) to induce an abortion privately, safely and effectively in your own home. The abortion pill can be taken in early pregnancy, and is an alternative to the in-office abortion procedure.

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

Mifepristone is used with another prescription medicine called misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy, up to 11.0 weeks. Mifepristone is a pill that blocks progesterone, a hormone produced naturally by a woman’s body that helps maintain pregnancy.

Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours after the mifepristone. Misoprostol tells the muscles of the uterus to cramp, and softens the cervix so that the pregnancy tissue can pass.

Day 1

An ultrasound, lab work, and evaluation are performed in the office by our medical staff. The first pill, mifepristone, is taken in the office. You will leave with instructions for completing the process at home.

Birth control options will also be discussed and provided at this office visit if you want. You can become pregnant again right after having an abortion.

Day 2 & 3

24-48 hours later you will take the second medication, misoprostol, at home. You may be given two doses of this medication to take at home, 4 hours apart. This can help make the medication abortion more effective sometimes.

After taking this medication, you will have bleeding and strong cramping while you pass the pregnancy. You may also have nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Plan to stay home for 12-24 hours.

Follow up

About 2-3 days later you will have a phone call with us to talk about your experience with the medications. If you or we are concerned that the medications did not work, we will ask you to return to our office as soon as possible.

We will give you a pregnancy test to take four weeks later. If this test is positive you must return right away for another ultrasound. You may still be pregnant.

Who can take the abortion pill?

You should not use medication to induce an abortion if you:

• Are more than 77 days pregnant (11.0 weeks).
• Have an IUD in your uterus (the medication can be taken after the IUD is removed).
• Have been told by your healthcare provider that you have a pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy).
• Have problems with your adrenal glands (chronic adrenal failure).
• Take a medicine to thin your blood or have a bleeding problem.
• Have porphyria.
• Take certain steroid medicines.
• Are allergic to mifepristone, misoprostol, or medicines that contain misoprostol, such as Cytotec or Arthrotec.

What will happen during my appointment?

When you arrive at the office you will:

• Complete paperwork
• Have your vital signs taken and a small blood sample collected
• Be examined by a health care professional, including a physical exam, transvaginal (internal) ultrasound, and a conversation about your health history
• Have a chance to ask questions and decide if this is the best option for you
• Sign consent forms
• Take the first medication, mifepristone
• Make a plan how to take the rest of your medications and complete the abortion at home
• Schedule your follow-up visit for a time that is convenient for you

Is the abortion pill safe?

The abortion pill procedure is extremely safe and effective. According to the Guttmacher Institute, first trimester abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with a less than 0.5% rate of major complications.

The medication abortion is a completely noninvasive procedure, but all medical treatment comes with some risk, for that reason we ask you to contact us right away if:

• Have extremely heavy bleeding- hemorrhage is one risk with this procedure and in some rare cases, a surgical procedure is required to stop heavy uterine bleeding.
• Any signs of infection- Serious infection can occur in about 1 per 1,000 people who take this medication and death from infection occurs in less than 1 per 100,000 cases. If you develop flu-like symptoms including sluggishness, weakness or muscle aches with or without a fever it is very important that you call us immediately. It is also important for you to call us if you have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea more than 24 hours after taking the misoprostol. We will give you antibiotics, to reduce the risk of infection. You can help prevent infection by taking your antibiotics as directed and by avoiding tampon use, sexual activity, douching, or placing anything in the vagina until your bleeding is lighter than your normal period.
• You have any signs of an allergic reaction such as a rash/swelling or if you have any other abnormal reactions to your medications.

FPA has a medical staff member on call 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. We can be reached at 1-866-849-1906.

Is the abortion pill effective?

Approximately 1.75 million people in the U.S. and millions more worldwide have chosen the Abortion Pill to end a pregnancy. It is effective approximately 91-98% of the time. How well the medication works can depend on how far along you are in the pregnancy.

8 weeks or less — Works about 98 out of 100 times the medication is taken

8-9 weeks — Works about 96 out of 100 times the medication is taken

9-10 weeks — Works about 91-93 out of 100 times the medication is taken, but if you take an extra dose of misoprostol it works 99 out of 100 times

10-11 weeks — Works about 87 out of 100 times the medication is taken, but if you take an extra does of misoprostol it works 98 out of 100 times

Misoprostol (or Cytotec) is a prostaglandin drug. It had previously received FDA approval for use in the prevention of ulcers in high-risk patients taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Why do some patients choose to take the abortion pill?

Some patients feel more comfortable ending a pregnancy using medications.

This is a non-invasive procedure that feels more natural for some people. You can take the medications in the privacy of your home, at your convenience. Some patients have shared that they chose this process so that they could be with a spouse, partner, family member or trusted friend, for support.

The abortion pill procedure takes more time than an in-office procedure. It is important that you have 2-3 days set aside for the entire process.

The medication is not predictable. You should be comfortable going into the process not knowing exactly how your body will respond to the medications.

We are happy to discuss all of your options with you, and answer any questions that you have, so you have all of the information you need to make the best choice for you.

Schedule an Appointment

Prepare for Your Visit

Frequently Asked Questions

Chicago | Downtown

312-707-8988
659 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago IL  60661
Fax (312) 707-9223

What date did your period start?

Please provide any information you have regarding the length of your pregnancy.

We will contact you by phone, text or email about your insurance coverage for the procedure you have requested. Keep in mind that you may be responsible for some payment if your insurance requires you to pay a deductible, copay or co-insurance amount. If you have an HMO insurance plan, you will need to get a written referral from your doctor. Please contact our insurance staff if you are having a hard time getting a referral for care from your physician.
Please provide your Illinois Medicaid Recipient ID so we can check your coverage, before your visit. If you are currently enrolled in Illinois Medicaid please bring in your picture ID and Medicaid card and we will be able to provide abortion care for you at NO COST. You will not have to pay anything for care related to your abortion including sedation, medications, lab testing, ultrasound, or RhoGAM if you have a negative blood type. You can also email the document(s) to FPA before your visit. The email address is: medicaid@fpachicago.com. For more information click here.
We have reduced fees for patients who are uninsured. You may be eligible for financial assistance. Please let us know if you need help with your payment. If you have already been in contact with an abortion fund, and they have pledged funds on your behalf, please let our staff know.  
If you have applied for Illinois Medicaid coverage or plan to apply, we can provide abortion services at no cost to you once your application is approved. If you have not applied for coverage yet, go to www.abe.illinois.gov to apply TODAY. Remember: 1. Say you are pregnant 2. Ask that your coverage begin at the first of this month, or earlier if you have any other past medical bills 3. DO NOT WAIT start your application today 4. Write down and save all of your login information Call 312-707-8988 with questions. If you need urgent coverage, you can visit a Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility Provider and leave their office with coverage. Most hospitals are MPE providers and Erie Family Health Center is an MPE provider. You can call them at 312-666-3494 or 847-666-3494 if you live in the suburbs of Chicago. Once you are approved – you pay nothing for abortion services. For more information, or to access a link to the website where you can apply for coverage, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call us today to speak with our staff or schedule your appointment.

312-707-8988

What is the Abortion pill?

The abortion pill uses two medicines to cause a miscarriage and end a pregnancy. The medication abortion is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy, up to 77 days, in the privacy of your home.

This is a non-invasive procedure that feels more natural for some people. You can be with a spouse, partner, family member or trusted friend, for support with the medical abortion. Patients who want a less invasive procedure, prefer the medication abortion.

The first step involves an office visit, including an ultrasound, lab work and exam. Mifepristone ends the pregnancy. Pregnancies need a hormone called progesterone to grow and mifepristone stops your body from making this hormone.

Misoprostol helps your body pass the pregnancy and causes bleeding and strong cramping. 24-48 hours after your office visit you will take misoprostol and you must stay home for 12-24 hours.  During this time, should rest until your bleeding and cramping is light.

A few days later you will have a phone interview with one of our staff to talk about your experience. You may need to return to the office for us to confirm that you are not longer pregnant. Most of the time you will take a pregnancy test at home four weeks later, and if the test is negative you and we will know the medication abortion worked. Because if your pregnancy test is positive four weeks after the abortion you may still be pregnant. Call us immediately if this happens so we can schedule you for another ultrasound.

Will it hurt?

The pain will be the worst after you take the second medication, misoprostol at home. Cramps similar to heavy period cramps are common, and for some people the cramping and pressure can be very severe.

We will give you prescription pain medication.

If you want to feel less cramping you can take one of the pain medications 30 minutes before taking misoprostol. Take your pain medications on a regular schedule until your pain is gone or light. If you are not taking pain medication regularly, it will not help with your pain because it only works for 4-6 hours.

Unfortunately, if you wait until you are in pain to take medications you will be in pain longer, because the pain medication takes time to work.

Do not use any aspirin medications like Bayer, Excedrin, BC, or Goody’s.

Milder cramps, like period cramps or less, may last for a few weeks after you pass the pregnancy.

How will I know that the abortion was successful?

The only way to know if the abortion was successful is to return for your follow-up visit 1-2 weeks later. In our experience, it is possible to have heavy bleeding and cramping and pass clots, yet still be pregnant. In very rare cases, the pregnancy can continue to grow and progress after taking the ‘abortion pill’. This is why it is so important to return within a few weeks of your procedure.

What if the pill doesn’t work?

After you take the abortion pill, you must make sure the medicines worked. We will call you for a telephone interview. After this call we may ask you to come back to the office for another ultrasound. If you still feel pregnant or think that the medication did not work, call us right away. We will also ask you to take a urine pregnancy test 4 weeks after the abortion. If this test is positive call us immediately. You may still be pregnant.

If you are still pregnant after you take the medication abortion you have two options. Usually you can take more medicine or have a suction procedure to complete the abortion.

Rarely, some of the pregnancy may still be in the uterus after some pregnancy tissue passes. If this happens you could have heavy bleeding, infection, or both. To prevent these complications, you may need a suction procedure, more medications, more tests or treatments.

Sometimes clots in the uterus can cause cramping and pain in the belly and/or lower back. If this happens, you may need a suction procedure or medication to help pass the clots.

You will not have to make another payment if you need more medical care to complete the abortion. This means you will not be asked to pay more if you need more medications or a suction procedure in our office. You must return to our office if you think that you are still pregnant or if our staff ask you to come back. We provide abortion care up to 24 weeks but it you need to go to another clinic or hospital to complete the abortion you will be responsible for the cost of that care.

Can I exercise after taking the pill?

You can exercise the day after you take the second medication at home. However you should not exercise if you feel like you have not passed the pregnancy.

After you exercise, if your bleeding increases stop exercising. If this happens you should be less active and do not exercise again until your bleeding is lighter.

How long will I bleed after taking the pill?

Your bleeding will be heaviest after you take the misoprostol at home on the second day. The type of bleeding you have will change. At first, the bleeding may be heavier than your normal period, and it may include blood clots.

Once the pregnancy has passed, bleeding will slow down. You may bleed or spot for 4 to 6 weeks after the abortion. The bleeding can stop and start again many times.

Can I use tampons after taking the abortion pill?

When your bleeding has been light for 24 hours you can use a tampon instead of a pad.

How effective is the abortion pill?

Approximately 1.75 million people in the U.S. and millions more worldwide have chosen the abortion pill to end a pregnancy. It is effective approximately 91-98% of the time. How well the medication works depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy.

If you take the abortion pill when you are 8 weeks or less pregnant it works about 98 out of 100 times.

If you take the abortion pill when you are 8-9 weeks pregnant it works about 96 out of 100 times.

If you take the abortion pill when you are 9-10 weeks pregnant it works about 91-93 out of 100 times. But if you take an extra dose of misoprostol it works 99 out of 100 times.

If you take the abortion pill when you are 10-11 weeks pregnant it works about 87 out of 100 times. But if you take an extra dose of misoprostol it works 98 out of 100 times.

 

When can I return to school or work?

You will take the Mifeprex in our office on ‘day one’ after having an exam, ultrasound, lab work and signing consents. You can go to work, school or make other plans that day, it is very rare that you would start to bleed or pass the pregnancy after taking the first medicine alone. You should make arrangements to be at home on ‘day two’ for at least 24 hours after taking the Cytotec (the second medication). The bleeding and cramping is moderate to heavy for most women and you should not be at school or work while you are passing the pregnancy. In most cases you can return to your regular obligations and activities the following day.

If I can’t come back to FPA for my follow-up appointment, can I just see my doctor or take a home pregnancy test?

By consenting to take the abortion pill at FPA, you also commit to returning to our office for your follow-up appointment. If you know that you are unable to return to see us, you should not take the abortion pill with us. In order to confirm that the abortion is complete, it is necessary for us to do an ultrasound. The abortion pill procedure is not 100% effective. If the abortion is not complete, only FPA can provide you with the additional medications or services needed to complete it. Home pregnancy tests can remain positive for over a month in some cases.

Registration Forms

You can complete your registration forms before you arrive. Simply download, print and fill out the forms. Please use a black ink pen only. (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)