The decision to have an abortion is never made lightly but at times it is made without knowing all the details. This often leads women to make a decision based on the opinions and convictions of others rather than their own. When faced with an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy, you are probably looking for answers to a few questions. This is one of the most common questions we see: where can I get the abortion pill? Confusion between the morning after pill and the abortion pill are widespread so we’ll break it down to clarify.
The Morning After Pill
The medical name, Levonorgestrel, is a mouthful. This form of abortion is typically known as the Morning After Pill. The name can be misleading – you don’t have to wait until the morning after unprotected sex. This drug is most effective the sooner you take it. It is not a routine method of birth control, but should only be used as an emergency contraceptive. It works differently depending on when it’s taken during the cycle. It may alter the lining of the uterus, which prevents implantation of a fertilized egg. It may delay or prevent ovulation, or it may deter the fertilization process. It’s important to restate that this medication does not stop the development of a fetus if the egg is already fertilized and implanted in the uterus. That is, if you’re already pregnant, this medication won’t work. This form of abortion is most easily accessible because it is readily available at most pharmacies.
Also known as the Abortion Pill, medical abortions are only approved and performed by a doctor. This name is also misleading as it’s actually a combination of two different medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, which are given several days apart. You’ll need to make an appointment for a medical exam which will include a detailed medical history, lab work, and a physical exam to confirm a pregnancy. The medical abortion process takes about 1-2 weeks and many women experience heavy cramping, bleeding, and other mild side effects.
What Do I Do First?
Prior to taking the abortion pill, you will need to ensure a few things. The first is maybe the most obvious: you should confirm that you are actually pregnant. Some abortion clinics do not confirm a viable pregnancy before performing an abortive procedure which can lead to undue physical, mental, and emotional stress. A pregnancy test cannot confirm a viable pregnancy, it can only detect hormone levels that are associated with being pregnant. The only way to accurately confirm a viable pregnancy is to have an ultrasound. This simple test can quickly tell you if you are pregnant, how long you’ve been pregnant, and if your pregnancy is viable. This information is vital because it tells you which, if any, abortive procedure you’re legally allowed to have during the window of pregnancy age you are in.
The second simple test is a limited STI testing for the two most common STIs, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. These infected cells can travel into the uterus during an abortive procedure, due to the opening of the uterus. If you have an unidentified or untreated STI during an abortive procedure you are susceptible to contracting Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which may cause a lifelong struggle with reproductive health and possible infertility.
Willow Womens Center wants to ensure that you are fully informed of all your pregnancy and abortion options so you can be confident in your decision. We walk women through the entire process with care and compassion, because we know this decision is one that impacts your life drastically. For your no-cost appointment, give us a call at 608-312-2025.