NON-SURGICAL ABORTION (RU486 PILL)
Non-surgical / medical abortion or abortion by pill is a relatively new method of termination of pregnancy for early pregnancies (below 7 weeks of pregnancy from the first day of the last menstrual period, confirmed by ultrasound dating). Even prior to RU-486 or Mifeprex, our very experienced, State-licensed, and board-certified OB/GYN physicians have had years of valuable experience in providing non-surgical abortions. With this method, medications are used to cause the pregnancy to stop growing and be expelled in a manner similar to a miscarriage. The abortion pill, Mifepristone (Mifeprex or RU-486), or methotrexate injection is used sequentially with misoprostol. The benefits, side effects, and alternatives are extensively discussed with each patient who chooses non-surgical abortion. While this method may be appealing to some, it is not the ideal choice for every patient.
The Abortion Pill (RU-486)
The abortion pill, Mifepristone (RU-486 or Mifeprex), has been approved by the FDA for non-surgical abortions and is available at Complete Healthcare for Women. We provide the abortion pill for non-surgical abortions for pregnancies up to 7 weeks. Mifepristone is an anti-Progesterone drug that stops the early pregnancy from growing. We have had much experience and success with the abortion pill, mifepristone, for non-surgical abortions.
Methotrexate is an FDA approved drug used for the treatment of certain cancers and chronic diseases. It has also been used to treat early ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, which are pregnancies that implant outside the uterus. When used in early pregnancy, methotrexate stops the rapidly growing embryonic and placental cells of early pregnancy from growing. We have had much experience and success in using methotrexate for non-surgical abortions and ectopic pregnancies.
Misoprostol is a drug that is used to treat peptic ulcers. When used as the second drug during a non-surgical abortion with the abortion pill or injection, it promotes the expulsion of the abnormal early pregnancy, in most cases.
All patients are treated with individualized, personalized care. A medical history is obtained to alert the physician to medical conditions. Convenient, accurate, state-of-the-art lab testing is done to verify the pregnancy and to check the blood count and Rh blood type. Warm, courteous professionals counsel each patient extensively on the benefits, risks, and alternatives of the procedure. The most accurate, state-of-the-art ultrasound machines are used by expert ultrasonographers to accurately date the pregnancy and detect gynecological conditions that can affect the procedure. Our board certified OB/GYN physicians are experts at OB/GYN ultrasound, which is very important, since the quality and accuracy of the ultrasound is greatly dependent on both the quality of the equipment and the skill of the person doing the ultrasound.
Patients who undergo a non-surgical abortion are given the first medication in the office (either mifepristone (RU-486 or Mifeprex) pill or methotrexate injection). The dose of methotrexate is calculated by a formula using the patient’s height and weight. She then uses misoprostol tablets 8-72 hours later, after which she can expect to experience lower abdominal cramping pain, vaginal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be extreme in some cases. It is absolutely necessary for the patient to return to this office two weeks after the initial medication for a follow-up exam and ultrasound to ensure the successful completion of the procedure.
Since non-surgical abortions are performed for early pregnancies, some very early pregnancies will turn out to be ectopic pregnancies, which account for 2% of all pregnancies and can be life-threatening emergencies. Ectopic pregnancies need to be diagnosed and treated promptly. Our board certified OB/GYN physicians are skilled at diagnosing and treating ectopic pregnacies with state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical methods.
Extensive studies have shown that approximately 10% of the time, non-surgical abortions are not successful (compared with less than 0.1% for surgical abortion), and the abortion must be completed immediately with a D & C at an additional expense. Failure to have the surgical procedure after a failed non-surgical abortion can lead to complications, such as continuous, profuse blood loss that may require a blood transfusion, or a continuing pregnancy with birth defects.