Northwest Chicago Women’s Health Clinic

Quality Compassionate Health Care For Women

FPA Chicago
Northwest Chicago Women’s Health Clinic

4341 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago IL  60641
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Thursday: Closed
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

What is the Abortion pill?

The ‘abortion pill’ is a non-surgical method used to terminate a pregnancy. This method is available for women under 10.0 weeks of pregnancy.

With the ‘abortion pill’ procedure, a set of two medications are taken over the course of two days to induce a miscarriage at home. On the first day you will come into the facility, fill out paperwork, have lab work, an exam and an ultrasound, go over your paperwork with one of our staff members and then take the first medication while you are in our office. The first medication terminates the pregnancy and then 24-48 hours later, at home, you will take the second medication. The second medication softens the cervix and induces uterine contractions, which the pregnancy to pass. It is normal to feel cramping, have moderate to heavy bleeding, and to pass large blood clots during this process. A follow up visit is required 1-2 weeks later in order to confirm that the ‘abortion pill’ was successful and that you are no longer pregnant.

Will it hurt?

After taking the abortion pill, you may experience moderate to severe cramping while passing the pregnancy. In most cases ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil/Midol), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) will alleviate the cramping. If medically appropriate, we will also give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever, such as Tylenol with codeine for additional pain relief.

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?

In a small percentage of cases, the medication abortion does not successfully cause a miscarriage. In these cases, the patient will require additional medications and medical treatment or a surgical abortion. Any additional care is covered by your initial payment provided that you return for evaluation and treatment in a timely manner.

Can I exercise after taking the pill?

You should not exercise after taking the pill until you return for you follow-up visit. The clinician will advise you at that time when you can resume physical activity.

Most often you can go back to your regular activities within a week of your procedure. Strenuous exercise can sometimes increase the amount of bleeding and cramping that you experience. If you notice an increase in your bleeding or cramping after exercising you may want to decrease your activity for a few days. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. If at any point you fully soak a maxi-pad in one hour or less you should call us right away. We have a 24-hour call service in case of emergent concerns or questions.

How long will I bleed after taking the pill?

In some cases patients can have period like bleeding for up to 2 to 3 weeks after taking the abortion pill. Bleeding can range from very light spotting to a flow heavier than a normal period. If you ever fully soak one pad in an hour or less, or if you have any questions about what is normal after your abortion, you can always call our office. We have a 24-hour on-call service in case of emergent questions and concerns.

Can I use tampons after taking the abortion pill?

You should not use tampons for two weeks after taking the abortion pill. Sanitary napkins should be used to decrease the possibility of infection and help you to monitor how much bleeding you are having more closely.

How effective is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is fairly effective, failing about 2% to 8% of the time. This means that 5 to 8 out of every 100 woman who take the abortion pill will need additional medications, medical treatment and/or a surgical procedure to complete the abortion. This is why it is so important for you to return for your follow up visit after taking the medication.

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.

Do you provide me with birth control?

Yes. We offer birth control to our patients immediately after the abortion, if they are medically eligible. The clinician and physician will evaluate your needs and assist you with finding an appropriate birth control method. In most cases we provide one full year of birth control.

When do I start my birth control?

In most cases, you should start your birth control on the first Sunday after your abortion procedure unless you are provided different instructions by our medical staff on the day of your visit.

Starting birth control as soon as you can after your procedure may help to reduce the amount of bleeding you have after an abortion and it will often help regulate your periods sooner. If you do not start your birth control right away after your procedure it is possible for you to become pregnant again within just a few weeks of the abortion.

Can I have an IUD (Mirena, Sklya or Paragard) right away after the abortion?

Yes, we provide intrauterine device (such as the Mirena, Skyla and Paragard) insertions immediately following an abortion procedure. One of the benefits of having an IUD inserted on the same day as an abortion procedure is that we can insert the IUD while you are still under sedation, so you will not feel any discomfort during the insertion.

If you are having the abortion pill procedure, we can insert an IUD on the day of your required follow up visit, in most cases.

An IUD is one of the most effective forms of birth control available. Please see our ‘Helpful Links’ page for more information about your IUD options. Most private insurance companies cover birth control, including an IUD. If you are not using your insurance for the abortion procedure, we are still happy to check your insurance for birth control coverage.

What kind of birth control is best for me?

Finding the ‘best’ birth control method can take some time. Your needs and preferences are unique to you. Your sister may really like the ‘depo shot’ but you might prefer birth control pills or Skyla. Every woman is different–keep in mind that you may need to try a couple of different methods before you find the right birth control for you!

We recommend that you explore your options before you come in for your visit. You can go to our ‘Helpful Links’ page for more information on birth control options.

Keep in mind that most birth control methods do not help to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV and chlamydia. It is important to use a condom every time you have sex to protect yourself, especially if you or your partner have more than one sex partner. Some STDs are viruses can cannot be cured which means that they will never ‘go away’. If you have an STD and it is not treated quickly, it can make it harder for you to become pregnant in the future (infertility). At FPA we provide STD testing and referrals for free STD testing at your request.