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Common Questions About Medical Abortions
Mile High OB Gyn - In Denver and Englewood, CO


What is RU486/Mifeprex?

Mifeprex is a non-invasive, non-surgical option for ending an early pregnancy. It can be taken up to nine weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period, and it is 90 to 95 percent effective.

How do these medications work?

Two medications are used to complete a medical abortion.

Mifepristone (RU486/Mifeprex) is a medication that blocks progesterone, the hormone necessary to maintain a pregnancy. This medication is given at the first visit.

The second medication, Misoprostol, is taken at home 24 hours later. It is placed in the mouth to dissolve for 30 minutes, and then swallowed. This medication causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. Approximately 75 percent of women expel the pregnancy within 24 hours of taking this medication.

How successful is it?

Approximately 99 percent. If treatment fails, a surgical procedure could be needed.

What are the side effects?

You can expect to have some or all of the following symptoms: nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, heavy bleeding, and strong cramping. Usually these symptoms go away after one to two days, but some women experience bleeding for one to two weeks. It is important to be honest about what you can handle. We talk with each woman individually to provide realistic and accurate information, so each patient can decide for herself.

How do I decide which method is best for me?

Many women describe the medical abortion as being “private” and “more like a miscarriage,” but the method is not for all women.

Every woman is different in her expectations, needs, and tolerance levels. The best thing to do is review all the information thoroughly and be honest with yourself. If you can't handle cramps or heavy bleeding, this is not for you. In our experience, women who make informed decisions and choose the medical abortion/RU486 are very happy with their choice. They report feeling like it was less invasive and more natural than a surgical abortion.

Which medication will I receive?

You will receive the following medications at the first visit: Mifepristone (RU486), Misoprostol, and prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics. You will also have lab work and an ultrasound. Rh-negative women will be given Rhogam at an additional cost.

How do I know it is complete?

It is necessary to return for a follow-up visit to confirm this. This appointment is usually scheduled for two weeks, but you will be given specific instructions at your visit. Your follow-up visit is covered by the initial cost you paid.