The Dunwoody Women’s Medical Group provides medical abortion only for women who are between 4 and 8 weeks pregnant. This “abortion by pill” actually uses two drugs: Mifepristone (RU-486) and Misoprostol. Before being offered a medical abortion, there are several steps that you will take to ensure your safety and well-being.
Every patient will have an ultrasound to verify the pregnancy. Used 3 weeks or more after the last menstrual period, this advanced diagnostic tool determines the length of the pregnancy with great accuracy. Thus it improves the physician's pre-operative evaluation and further assures the safety of the patient. If necessary, a urine pregnancy test will be performed.
Routine laboratory work is completed to screen all potential patients. This includes hematocrit testing, urinalysis and Rh typing. Patients with Rh-negative blood type will receive an injection of Rhogam at an additional charge. (See Fee Schedule)
After the laboratory testing, a registered nurse will evaluate your health. This includes a review of your medical history and a physical exam. We are concerned with the success of your termination and we want to make sure that your current health and size of your pregnancy will allow the safest of procedures.
Individual counseling supplies important information and support for patients scheduled for a pregnancy termination. Each woman receives personal confidential attention and care throughout her visit. All counseling, under the direction of our registered nurse, is private and confidential. Detailed information is provided about the medical abortion and birth control. Patient educators are there to help with feelings and concerns related to the termination and each patient is treated with warmth, understanding, and sensitivity. Whenever appropriate, patient’s family and friends can receive our counseling services.
Because this abortion method allows the patient to complete the abortion in the privacy and comfort of her home, the patient needs to clearly understand what to expect. So counseling is a very important part of a medical abortion.
Once all testing, counseling and lab work is completed, you will be given the RU-486 pill. You also will be given 4 tablets that you take home and dissolve in your mouth 6-48 hours later.
What Women Can Expect from a Mifepristone (RU-486) Abortion
A medical abortion uses two medications: Mifepristone and Misoprostol. This requires at least two visits to the office. One visit for the medication and a second visit a week later for follow-up which is vital in ensuring completion of the procedure.
Approximately ⅔ of women will have a complete medical abortion within 4-8 hours of using the Misoprostol. Approximately 90% of women will have a complete medical abortion within 24 hours of using the Misoprostol.
On average, women may expect to have bleeding and/or spotting for 9-16 days. Women may pass clots, ranging in size from a dime to a lemon. Some women may see graying pregnancy tissue.
If the medications fail to end the pregnancy, a suction abortion must be performed. For this reason, a woman who chooses a medical abortion must be willing to have a suction abortion if needed.
Why Do Some Women Prefer Medical Abortion?
No anesthesia or surgery necessary.
Can be performed earlier - as soon as visible by ultrasound.
Feels more in control and less invasive
Feels more like a miscarriage and so more “natural.”
More privacy as the abortion occurs at home
Abortions are safest early in pregnancy. In one of the clinical trials, 96% of women said that they would recommend medical abortions to a friend.
Who Can Choose Medical Abortion?
You may choose medical abortion if you are 8 weeks or less pregnant. But you must agree to have a surgical abortion if the medical treatment fails to end the pregnancy. You also need access to a telephone, transportation, and backup medical care.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTERWARDS
The three-week period following your abortion is very important. This information will help to insure an easy and worry-free recovery. Please carefully read this information. You will receive additional information at the time of your visit.
It is perfectly normal to experience some bleeding after a pregnancy termination. Some women have bleeding similar to a normal period and others bleed very little or not at all. Your first normal period following the abortion should come in four to six weeks. We ask that you monitor your bleeding for three days after your abortion. If your bleeding becomes excessive and you begin to saturate a full size pad within one hour or if you are passing clots of blood larger than the size of a quarter, you should contact us by calling our emergency telephone number. This number will be given to you during your visit and provides 24 hour emergency access.
It is not unusual to experience cramping after your procedure. You may take any non-aspirin pain reliever or a pain reliever that is prescribed by us to relieve your discomfort. Avoid aspirin as it may thin the blood and cause heavier bleeding.
Breast Soreness and Mood Changes
As your hormones shift to the non-pregnant state, you may feel a slight "down" or "blue" period. These feelings should subside in a few days. A small percentage of women experience some increased breast tenderness for a few days after the procedure and some women produce milk. This is best remedied by wearing a tight-fitting bra for 24-48 hours, applying ice to the breasts, refrain from touching the breasts and taking hot showers. Milk production should diminish in a few days.
In order to avoid infection and to ensure a healthy recovery, it is most important that you completely take your antibiotic prescription.
Also, there are some restrictions that you must stick to for three weeks after your abortion and until you have received a follow-up exam:
1. Abstain from sexual intercourse
2. Do not use tampons until after the one week follow-up exam
3. No douching, tub baths or swimming
4. Avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting (lifting anything over fifteen pounds) and all exercise