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 worked.
Mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone, also known as Mifeprex or RU-486, blocks the effects of the hormone progesterone. This stops the placenta's growth, softens the cervix, and makes the uterus ready for labor. Misoprostol is then used to start contractions to clear the uterus of all tissue.
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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
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