Chicago Medical Abortion
(Abortion Pill Non-Surgical Abortion)
At Women’s Aid Center, we believe that every woman deserves safe, affordable, compassionate reproductive healthcare.
We are a small, private clinic, owned and managed by women, specializing in performing medical abortions (also referred to as non-surgical abortions or the abortion pill). Below are answers to our patient’s frequently-asked questions, as well as a walk-through of the entire procedure. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How does a medical abortion work?
You can receive medical abortion treatment as soon as you find out you are pregnant, privately and discreetly. Two types of medications are used: Mifepristone (Mifeprex or RU-486) and Misoprostol (Cytotec) tablets. The first medication, Mifepristone, blocks the action of progesterone, a hormone needed to maintain pregnancy. The second medication, Misoprostol, causes the uterus to expel the products of conception. Both are tablets a patient takes by mouth (orally).
The medication works very early in pregnancy and allows you to avoid surgery. It is a non-invasive option; it involves no surgical instruments and anesthesia is unnecessary. After your initial visit to the clinic, the process can take place in the privacy of your own home, at a time right for you.
Why should I consider a medical abortion?
This is a very personal decision. Many women find the option of a medical abortion preferable to undergoing a surgical abortion procedure. A medical abortion can be completed earlier in pregnancy, privately and discreetly. You can receive medical abortion treatment as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and up to 10 weeks after the first day of your last period. It has been deemed safe and carries no long-term risks for future pregnancies.
Typical medical abortions have a high rate of success (98%) and are non-invasive. They do not require advance preparation, and do not require you to find someone to transport you home from the clinic. You can choose to be alone or request that a partner, friend, or family member stay with you. Even though the procedure will take place in the privacy of your own home, you are under our care and we are available to you at all times.
How early in my pregnancy I can have a medical abortion?
You are qualified to have a medical abortion as early as a urine pregnancy test shows a positive result. We will perform a pregnancy test along with other laboratory tests on the day of your visit to the clinic. You do not need to see your doctor for additional tests before the procedure.
Is medical abortion safe?
Yes – Medical abortion is very safe. Unless there is a very rare and serious complication that is not treated, there is no risk to future pregnancies or to the patient’s health. Having an abortion does not increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer or affect fertility. Emotional problems after an abortion are rare, and are more likely to happen in women who must end a pregnancy for health reasons, people who do not have support, or people who have a history of mental health issues. Most women feel relief after an abortion.
What is the success rate for medical abortion?
At Women’s Aid Center, we specialize in non-surgical abortion and have a 98% success rate. Our board-certified doctors and multi-lingual medical team will ensure that you get the care you deserve.
What is Mifepristone (Mifeprex or RU 486)?
Mifepristone (also called Mifeprex or RU-486, and sometimes referred to as the abortion pill) provides women with a medical alternative to surgical abortion. More and more women who choose to terminate a pregnancy are doing so using the abortion pill. This is an effective method of ending a pregnancy and has been used for many years world-wide.
On September 28, 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Mifepristone for use in medical abortions. It works by blocking the action of progesterone, a hormone needed to maintain pregnancy. Blocking progesterone stops the pregnancy from growing. After a patient’s pregnancy is verified by ultrasound, Mifepristone is taken by mouth at the clinic.
What is Misoprostol (Cytotec)?
Misoprostol is a drug that makes the uterus cramp and causes bleeding to expel the pregnancy (miscarriage). It is taken at home, by mouth, 48 hours after you receive the Mifepristone pill at the clinic. In typical cases, a miscarriage occurs within 24 hours.
What should I avoid while taking Mifepristone/ Misoprostol?
Do not take any non-prescription medicines such as herbal or dietary supplements at any time during the treatment period without first asking a doctor. They may interfere with the process. Avoid alcohol and do not use tampons. Refrain from having sex or strenuous exercise until you have seen your healthcare provider for a follow-up exam.
Do I have to come back for a check-up after a medical abortion?
Yes. We will schedule a follow-up visit at the clinic 2-3 weeks after your procedure. At this time, we will perform all necessary tests to make sure you are no longer pregnant.
When should I not have a medical abortion?
- You are more than 10 weeks pregnant. (Our medical staff will examine you to ensure that a medical abortion is the right choice for you, and can help talk through your options.)
- You are severely anemic.
- You have severe intestinal problems.
- You take medicines to thin your blood such as Heparin or have a bleeding disorder.
- You have a history of heart disease or stroke.
- You think you might have an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy not in the uterus).
- You have an IUD at the present time. It must be taken out prior to your treatment.
Can you walk me through the abortion pill procedure step by step?
Day 1 – At the Clinic
- At your first visit, a member of our medical team will review your medical history.
- You will receive private counseling regarding the specifics of the process.
- A vaginal ultrasound is performed to establish the precise stage of pregnancy.
- You will then be given a pelvic examination by the doctor who will administer the Mifepristone (Mifeprex or RU-486 pill).
- You take the pill by mouth.
- You may have some bleeding after taking the first medication, but you still need to take the second medication at home to complete the abortion.
- Before you leave our clinic, you will receive four tablets of the second medication, Misoprostol, along with a prescription for pain medication to take at home if necessary.
Day 3 – At Home
- You will take four pills of Misoprostol orally 48 hours later at home, placing them between your gum and cheek.
- This medication usually produces cramping in about 2 to 4 hours. Vaginal bleeding typically begins anywhere from 1 to 10 hours after cramping starts.
- In most cases, the pregnancy will pass within 24 hours of when bleeding begins. Some women pass blood clots as the pregnancy is expelled.
- Prescribed pain medicine or over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil can help with your cramps. Detailed instructions regarding pain management will be given to you at the clinic.
- Please remember, even as you undergo this procedure at home, you are under our care. We are available to you at all times. If you have any questions during any point in your treatment, do not hesitate to call us.
2-3 Weeks Later – Follow-up visit
- A typical medical abortion is about 98% effective. A follow-up visit at the clinic in 2-3 weeks is necessary to ensure that the abortion is complete.
- This visit includes a urine test, pelvic exam, and in some cases an ultrasound to determine that you are no longer pregnant.
- If this visit shows that the abortion has not been complete (an occurrence in only 2% of cases), a surgical abortion will be performed to end the pregnancy.
- It is possible to get pregnant again very quickly after your abortion. Your follow-up visit is a good time to talk to our medical team about the birth control method that is right for you. You may begin using your new contraceptive method immediately.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us. The compassionate professionals at the Women’s Aid Center are here to help.