The Abortion Experience with RU-486:
What Is RU-486
RU-486 (the Abortion Pill) is an artificial steroid that blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to continue a pregnancy. RU-486 causes a medical abortion, making it different from emergency contraception or "morning after" pills. RU-486 (also known as Mifeprex) can terminate early (less than 63-day-old) pregnancies. The drug has been available in Europe since the 1980s and was approved for use in America in 2000.
In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to revise warnings associated with the drug due to the possibility of infections, bleeding and (very rarely) deaths that have been associated with the drug.
When Can It Be Used
Typically, mifepristone and misoprostol can be used for early abortion up to 63 days after the start of the last menstrual period. A large majority of women will have a complete abortion when using mifepristone/misoprostol. The remaining women will need a suction procedure, either because of ongoing or excessive bleeding, an incomplete abortion (tissue remains in the uterus but there is no growing embryo), or an ongoing pregnancy (a viable growing pregnancy).
The abortion procedure used at the West End Women's Medical Group is the simplest and most modern method of pregnancy termination.
What Are The Steps
There are basically 3 steps to the medical abortion (RU-486) process. These normally require 3 trips to the medical office.
On the first visit:
• A medical history is taken and a clinical exam and lab tests are performed.
• Counseling is completed and informed consent is obtained.
• Patient agrees that a vacuum abortion will be done if the medication fails.
• If eligible for medical abortion, the woman swallows the mifepristone pill(s).
Second visit to the medical office:
• This step takes place within about 2 days of step one.
• Unless abortion has occurred and has been confirmed, the woman uses misoprostol.
• Misoprostol tablets may be taken orally or inserted into the vagina.
Third visit to the medical office:
• This step takes place within about 2 weeks of step two.
• The clinician evaluates the woman to determine if the abortion was successful.
• It is essential for women to return to the office/clinic to confirm that the abortion is complete.
(or very serious complications may result)
• If there is an ongoing pregnancy, a suction abortion should be provided.
• If there is an incomplete abortion, the clinician will discuss possible treatment options.
(These may include:
re-evaluating for complete abortion in a number of days
or a suction procedure)
Additional visits may be required if complications result or the procedure is incomplete.
Complications With RU-486
Side effects, such as pain, cramping and vaginal bleeding, are expected with all medical (RU-486) abortion. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, or fever. The more serious complications may include infection, excessive vaginal bleeding requiring transfusion (occurs in approximately 1 in 500 cases), incomplete abortion or ongoing pregnancy which requires a suction abortion. In a small number of cases, death may occur. Serious complications with the abortion pill occur at a considerably higher rate than do such complications with surgical abortion.
We are proud to say that the West End Women's Medical Group is the ONLY Medical Office in Reno Certified by the National Abortion Federation.
Click on the map to find our office: