A medical abortion is the use of medicines to end a pregnancy. Medical care for a medical abortion is different from medical care for a surgical abortion. This is because a medical abortion is like a miscarriage (in this case, caused by medicines) that takes place at home over 1 to 2 days and does not require your doctor to be present. After a couple of weeks of bleeding, you then see your doctor for a follow-up examination.
Before a medical abortion, your doctor will:
In addition to the medicines used to cause an abortion, your doctor will give you medicines to minimize side effects, with specific instructions for their use. These medicines are used:
If you need to call your doctor about your symptoms during a medical abortion, be prepared to provide information about:
Carefully follow all of your doctor's instructions and review what-to-expect information after a medical abortion.
Follow these instructions:
Normal symptoms that most women will experience after a medical abortion include:
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms after an abortion:
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have had any of these symptoms after a recent abortion:
Complications that can occur include:
When a medical abortion fails, a surgical abortion must be done as follow-up to prevent complications or development of a fetus with abnormalities.
A follow-up examination is done about 2 weeks after a medical abortion. The examination may include:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Rebecca H. Allen, MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||September 22, 2010|
Last Revised: September 22, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.