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Medical Abortion or RU486

A medical abortion is one that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy. The alternative is a surgical abortion which ends the pregnancy by emptying the uterus with special instruments. We currently are evaluating the medical guidelines for medical abortion and hope to offer medical abortion in the near future at Women's Community Medical Clinic. We can provide you with information on both methods so you may make an informed choice about what is right for you. No appointment is necessary at our clinic.

Either of two medications, methotrexate or mefepristone, can be used for medical abortion. Each of these medications is taken together with another medication, misoprostrol, and either regime will end the pregnancy.

Before any abortion can be done, a medical professional must confirm that a woman is indeed pregnant and determine exactly how long she has been pregnant. The length of the pregnancy is usually measured by the number of days that have passed since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period or LMP (abreviation).

Medical abortions can be performed as early as a pregnancy can be confirmed. In fact, the shorter the time that a woman has been pregnant, the better the medications will work. Because they do not work as well later in the pregnancy, medical abortion is not usually an option after seven weeks ( or 49 days) from the last menstrual period or LMP.

Medical abortion can take anywhere from 3 days to 3-4 weeks, and requires several visits to the clinic or medical office.

These return visits are very important since there is no other way to be sure that the abortion has been completed.

This information was condensed and taken from
the National Abortion Federation (NAF) Fact Sheet: What is Medical Abortion.

For more Fact Sheet: Information on Mifepristone (RU486)

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