- Pregnancy Termination by Medication
Medication pregnancy termination became the preferred and more common method for ending pregnancy in the U.S. even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
These involve taking two prescription medicines days apart – at home and involves the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. As more states seek limits, demand for the pills is expected to grow. Chelsea Fertility NYC OB/GYN PLLC can provide access to board certified specialists in OB/GYN who can safely support you in the care you need.
How The Drugs Work?
Mifepristone is taken first, swallowed by mouth. The drug dilates the cervix and blocks the effects of the hormone progesterone, which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. This medication has been used safely for decades, initially known as RU-486. The second drug Misoprostol is taken 24 to 48 hours later. The pill is designed to dissolve when placed between the gums and teeth or in the vagina. It causes the uterus to cramp and contract, causing bleeding and expelling pregnancy tissue. This is a chemical known as prostaglandin.
How The Drugs Are Used?
These medications are approved for use up to the 10th week of pregnancy. That is 10 weeks from your last normal menstrual period.
The pills may be taken once the dates of the gestation are documented by sonogram. We can offer the pills through telehealth visits (telemedicine) as long as dates of the gestation are documented by a ultrasound; only then can we prescribe the medications which will be sent to patients by mail directly from the receiving pharmacy in NYC. All the above conforms with NYS law and best practices.
Studies and real-use evidence show that when taken together, the pills are safe and up to 99 percent effective. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Bleeding is normal. Very heavy bleeding – soaking more than two pads an hour for more than two hours – is uncommon but requires medical attention. If you cannot come to our clinic in NYC you must be prepared to seek urgent care locally.
Pregnancy tests should not be used right away to determine if a medication abortion was successful because the pregnancy hormone may linger in the body for several weeks. Bleeding, with blood clots that include lighter colored tissue are signs of success.
Serious complications are very rare. The Food and Drug Administration says more than four million U.S. women have used mifepristone since it was approved more than 20 years ago.
Health insurance coverage varies, with some plans making the pills free or low cost and others not covering them at all. Out of pocket cost without insurance varies with the prescribing pharmacy. Mifepristone is sold under the brand name Mifeprex and misoprostol under the brand name Cytotec, but both pills are available as generics.
The FDA approved mifepristone to terminate pregnancy in 2000, when used with misoprostol.
Furthermore, FDA does not require the medication to be picked up in person. In fact, the FDA presented a scientific review of the drug’s use that showed that women could safely receive the pills through the mail after an online consultation, without any increase in side effects or complications. This allows mail delivery of the pills nationwide.