Have you taken the first dose of the abortion pill but find yourself regretting your decision? You’re not alone. The good news is, it may not be too late to save your baby. But you have to act within the first 24 hours!
Time is essential once the abortion pill (or chemical abortion) process has started. You can reach out to us or visit the Abortion Pill Reversal Network for help.
The abortion pill process
To understand how an abortion pill reversal is possible, we first need to understand how the abortion pill works. A chemical abortion happens within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and involves two steps with two different medications. The first pill is mifepristone (RU-486). Once taken, mifepristone begins to block progesterone production in the woman’s body, which will eventually cause the uterine lining to break down, cut off oxygen and vital nutrients to the embryo, and cause the embryo to die inside the womb. Twenty-four to 48 hours after mifepristone is taken, the woman is given another set of pills called misoprostol, which forces her body to shed the embryo out of her uterus.
How the abortion pill reversal treatment works
If the woman has only taken one dose of mifepristone (the first pill) and is still within the first 24 hours, a medical professional can try to reverse the procedure by prescribing a large influx of progesterone.
Before doing this, however, the healthcare provider will typically perform an ultrasound to confirm the heart rate, placement, and dating of the pregnancy. They may prescribe progesterone as a pill to be taken orally or vaginally, or they could prescribe progesterone injections. Progesterone treatments will typically continue through the first trimester of pregnancy.
Success rate of abortion pill reversal
Studies are still being done on the abortion pill reversal treatment, but one small study notes that it is 64%-68% successful. There is also some controversy among healthcare professionals surrounding the reversal and its effectiveness. One of the biggest reasons for this is that many times the first abortion pill (mifepristone) fails to abort the pregnancy on its own. That means if you never take the second pill (misoprostol), the pregnancy could continue on its own without the abortion pill reversal treatment. So while the administration of progesterone doesn’t guarantee the success of an abortion pill reversal, it does increase the chances of the pregnancy continuing and is better than taking a “see what happens” approach.
How safe is the abortion pill reversal?
Progesterone has been safely used in pregnancies for over 50 years. Studies also indicate that neither mifepristone nor progesterone are associated with birth defects. It is important to note, however, that the use of progesterone for the reversal of mifepristone has yet to be FDA approved.
High doses of progesterone may have some slight side effects for the woman. This includes sleepiness, lack of energy, lightheadedness, dizziness, gastrointestinal discomfort, and headaches. Simply increasing your fluid intake could help balance these symptoms.
Is there support available for abortion pill reversals?
There are numerous organizations that can help you with this process, your pregnancy journey, and next steps. This can include preparing to care for the child yourself or looking at adoption options. If you decide you want to know more about reversing the abortion pill, please reach out to us, the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, or your local medical provider for help.