The Abortion Pill Side Effects
and Can the Pill be Reversed?

My boyfriend and I went in and I took the abortion pill. I’m not feeling very good. What’s going on?

Many people think that the “abortion pill” is as simple as taking a pill and you are no longer pregnant. It isn’t that simple and there is a lot more that goes into how it works in your body.

More importantly, women need to understand that there is a reversal option if they change their mind, but need to work quickly.

What is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is actually a two-pill process that results in medical abortion. This system was approved by the FDA in 2000 and now accounts for over 54% of abortions in the U.S. The first medication is Mifepristone which is taken by mouth, and then 24 to 48 hours later, a second pill, misoprostol, is taken. You may hear these medications called by other names, such as RU486 or Mifeprex, which is the Brand name, while Mifepristone is the generic name. These pills can be used by women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant, which is up to 70 days from the first day of their last period.

When these pills are used in combination, they are between 95% and 97% effective.

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

The first pill, RU486 or Misoprostol, is a pill that blocks progesterone which is a hormone that protects the lining of the uterus. This lining is what nourishes the baby. Once this lining breaks down, the baby can no longer receive nourishment and dies. The second pill, misoprostol, is then taken, creating contractions and bleeding, so the fetus is expelled.

Generally, you will take the first pill in your doctor’s office, and 24 to 48 hours later, you will take the second pill at your home. Four or five hours after the second pill is taken, the pregnancy is usually terminated. You will then visit your doctor seven to fourteen days later to confirm that the abortion is complete. If the abortion is not fully complete, the doctor may give you additional medication or perform a surgical abortion.

How this process works varies from state to state, and the laws regarding medical abortion in each state can change quickly. In some states, the medication can be ordered in the mail, while in other states, it is illegal. At what point in the pregnancy it is allowed to be given also varies from state to state.
Woman taking abortion pill

What are the Potential Side-Effects of the Abortion Pill?

According to RxList, some of the common side-effects of RU486 include but are not limited to:

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Uterine Bleeding
  • Anxiety
  • Pelvic and leg pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting

Mifepristone also has some common side-effects such as:

  • Stomach Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Abnormalities
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Swelling
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

These are just some of the potential side effects. There is also a risk of infections and longer-term issues with PTSD and depression that are also possible. There have been deaths and severe reactions due to this treatment. Any medical procedure such as a medical abortion should not be taken lightly. If you are experiencing an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, this can be quite dangerous. There are certain medical conditions and drug interactions to be aware of before beginning a medical abortion.

What Happens if You Change Your Mind?

So, what happens if you have taken the first pill but then change your mind? This happens more often than you might think, and while the odds change depending on how long ago you took the first pill, there is a chance the effects can be reversed.

First, call 1-877-558-0333. This is the adoption pill reversal hotline. They will put you in touch with a doctor in your area who can give you a reversal medication to increase your chances of saving your baby. This is safe and effective if administered by a medical professional.

Why You Might Change Your Mind

When facing an unexpected pregnancy, the thought that you can take a couple of pills and your “problem” will go away may seem like an easy answer. Unfortunately, it is not. There are emotional and physical risks to ending your pregnancy, and once you take that first pill, the reality that you are terminating your pregnancy becomes very real. Many expectant women are surprised at how early a fetus develops.

Did you know that at week five, a baby’s heart starts to beat? By week six, their mouth, nose, and ears are starting to form, and the brain is starting to develop. At week seven, the hands and feet are starting to form on the ends of the developing arms and legs, and the eyes are forming. By the tenth week, your baby even has eyelids, fingerprints, and nails are forming on her fingers.

Even if you are not ready to parent, there is a family out there that would love to grow their family through adoption. Consider all of your options to decide what is best for you and your baby.