Medical abortion is the use
of medicines to end a pregnancy. Medical abortion can be done up to about 9 weeks of pregnancy.
A typical treatment schedule for a medical abortion usually
requires at least two visits to your doctor over several weeks. For the first
visit, one medicine is taken during the visit and a second medicine is given to
be taken at home. Vaginal bleeding may last about 14 days.
Usually about 2 weeks after the first medical visit, a follow-up examination is
needed to see if you are recovering well and to make sure the procedure
Medicines currently available in the United States for
inducing abortion are:
Misoprostol. This hormone softens and opens (dilates)
cervix and triggers uterine contractions. Misoprostol
used alone may end a pregnancy but is much more effective when used with other
medicines, such as mifepristone or methotrexate, in first-trimester
Methotrexate and misoprostol. Methotrexate interferes
with the placenta's growth. It is not as effective as mifepristone and takes
longer to abort a pregnancy. Misoprostol is then used to start contractions to
clear the uterus of all tissue.
See the What to Think About section of this topic for a
comparison of medical abortion and surgical abortion.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 05, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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