A medical abortion is the process of terminating a pregnancy using medicines or pills. This is a non surgical method to undergo an abortion and must be done under the supervision of a physician. Pills can be used to induce abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy. After this period, surgical abortion is a must. Otherwise, considerable medical complications may arise. A woman should opt for this method only when she is perfectly sure about the termination of the pregnancy.
Medical abortion regimens using mifepristone in combination with a prostaglandin analog are the most common methods used to induce abortions in Canada, most of Europe, China and India.
In this type of termination of pregnancy, a woman will have to take one pill of mifepristone initially. Mifepristone softens the walls of the uterus, induces slight contractions and dilates the cervix (opening present at the mouth of the uterus). This aids in the expulsion of the embryo. After about two days the lady will have to take one pill of prostaglandin to cause the expulsion of the embryo and induce bleeding. This happens about 24 hours after the pill is taken.The prostaglandin pill may cause side effects like excessive bleeding, nausea, headaches and abdominal cramps. It is essential that the woman return to the doctor after the bleeding has stopped to check for the complete evacuation of the embryo. This is important because if it is not completely removed it can cause severe complications like septicaemia.
If a woman notices that her bleeding is very heavy and she soaks more than two sanitary pads in two hours, has severe cramps, vomiting or has a high fever she must visit her doctor immediately.