You may have heard the terms “abortion pill” and “plan b or morning after pill”. Are these the same thing? If not, how are they different? And how do you know if either are an option for you if you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy? Thankfully, we have the answers to those questions.
What is the abortion pill?
We have a previous post that goes a little more in depth on the medical abortion process, but here is a brief rundown of what the abortion pill is.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the abortion pill is actually a combination of two medications- mifepristone and misoprostol. This series of pills is commonly referred to as a medical abortion. It is an FDA approved abortion method for women in the first 10 weeks of their pregnancy and can only be administered by a medical professional.
This abortion process begins by taking mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone from the developing embryo. This causes the heart to stop in the developing embryo. The next step in this process is taking misoprostol. This medication causes the uterus to contract and causes cramping which expels the embryo or fetus. Some women can experience severe cramping.
A follow up appointment is recommended to ensure completion of the medical abortion and to ensure no complications have occurred.
What is the plan b pill?
Unlike the abortion pill, the morning after pill (or plan b) is only an option within 72 hours of unprotected sex and is purchased over-the-counter at many convenience stores. According to the FDA, the morning after pill (or plan b) is a large dose of an oral contraceptive, levonorgestrel. This is not the same medication as a medical abortion.
Plan B is considered an emergency contraceptive used to prevent ovulation or fertilization from occurring. It may also prevent implantation from occurring. Once implantation has begun, however, it is not effective.
Associated risks of Plan B and the Abortion Pill
There are associated risks with both the Plan B (Morning After Pill) and the Abortion Pill.
Abortion Pill risks: bleeding, infection, the abortion pill will not end an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy - a life threatening condition, failed abortion, risk of fetal malformation if pregnancy continues
Plan B or Morning After Pill risks: nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and menstrual changes
What does this all mean for you?
If you find yourself experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, don’t feel rushed into making an appointment with an abortion clinic. Make your decision with peace and with all the facts. At the CPC we have trained staff and volunteers that can come alongside you and give you the help you need to make your decision with confidence. We offer free services like pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds, both of which will be necessary in making your pregnancy decision. We can also walk you through what a medical abortion, surgical abortion, and pregnancy look like.
We offer every woman that walks through our door hope and encouragement, no matter her pregnancy decision.
Call us today to make an appointment, or use our online scheduler to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!
Note: Some women that begin the abortion pill process change their mind before taking the misoprostol. There is an abortion pill reversal. Under the care of a doctor, some women have continued their pregnancies and given birth to healthy babies. For more information on the abortion pill reversal, click here.
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