Abortion pill safety

The drugs involved in the abortion pill are powerful and associated with risks. Your chance of experiencing a risk increases if your pregnancy is further along than 10 weeks gestation, if you have certain medical conditions, or if you’re taking specific medications. 

What are the risks of the abortion pill?

The abortion drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, are associated with the following risks:

  • Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in your uterus
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the drugs don’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

After taking the abortion drugs, you will experience vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping, but it can be difficult to determine if these side effects are turning into a complication.

A few signs and symptoms of complications include a fever lasting more than 24 hours, severe abdominal or back pain, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and heavy bleeding. Soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours qualifies as heavy bleeding.

It’s essential to seek emergency care if you suspect complications. While some women might feel hesitant about sharing information about the drugs they’ve taken with the hospital, it’s the only way a medical professional will know how to treat you best.

Who shouldn’t take the abortion pill?

The abortion pill isn’t an option for everyone. If any of the following situations apply to you, attempting to take the abortion pill puts you at greater risk for severe complications:

  • Your pregnancy is too far along (older than 10 weeks gestation).
  • You have an intrauterine device (IUD) currently in place.
  • You have a suspected ectopic pregnancy (which is a life-threatening situation in which the pregnancy is growing outside the uterus). 
  • You have certain medical conditions, including bleeding disorders, heart or blood vessel diseases, severe liver, kidney or lung disease, or an uncontrolled seizure disorder.
  • You take a blood thinner or certain steroid medicines.
  • You can’t make follow-up visits to your provider or don’t have access to emergency care.
  • You have an allergy to the medicine used.

This list isn’t exhaustive, so  it’s essential to see a medical provider in person before taking the abortion pill to assess your health history.

Why is getting the abortion pill online riskier?

Since abortion is illegal in Texas, you might attempt to purchase the abortion drugs online. While you won’t be held criminally or civilly liable if you pursue the drugs illegally, this can be a dangerous option. Read more about the risks of ordering the abortion pill online here.