RU486

RU486

What is it?

RU-486, also known as “the abortion pill”, is actually a combination of two drugs — mifepristone and misoprostol — that cause early abortion. It should not be used if it has been more than 7 weeks since your last period. It is NOT the same as the “morning after pill.”

How does it work?

The first pill, mifepristone, is taken orally and blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is inserted into the vagina 24 to 72 hours later, causing the uterus to contract and expel the placenta and embryo.

Things to Consider

An RU-486 abortion requires 3 visits to a health care provider.

  • Most medical abortions using mifepristone are completed within 2 weeks, but some can take up to 3 or even 4 weeks.
  • Side effects include heavy bleeding, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.
  • If this method fails, a surgical abortion will be required.

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I think I’m pregnant, but I’m on the pill. What should I do?

It’s rare, but possible to get pregnant while on the pill. You will need to take a lab quality urine test to ensure your pregnancy. If it’s positive, an ultrasound will best confirm the viability of your pregnancy.


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Although your legal rights are limited, your influence is vitally important. Both of you have many decisions to make, but she has a decision to make with or without you. Learn more about what you should and shouldn’t do to help your partner during this unplanned pregnancy.


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