Fewer than 4% of reported abortions in Canada are done using pharmaceutical drugs. Medical abortion is considered successful if complete expulsion of embryo and placenta occurs without the need for surgery to complete abortion.
Medical abortion is not commonly recommended in pregnancies past 49-63 days because of the increase in incomplete abortion, heavy prolonged uterine bleeding and ongoing pregnancy .
– Medical abortion takes longer than surgical
– Is less effective
– Requires more clinic visits
Medical abortion results in heavier, more prolonged bleeding, more pain, nausea and vomiting than surgical abortion. Most medical abortions involve the use of a combination of drugs .
Methotrexate and Misoprostal
In Canada, Methotraxate and Misoprostal are used together for medical abortion up to 49 days of pregnancy. Methotraxate breaks down the cell layer that attaches the embryo to the wall of the uterus, depriving the embryo of essential nutrients and resulting in its death.
Misoprostal is a synthetic prostaglandin that causes the cervix to soften and dilate and uterus to contract and expel the embryo. This medical abortion regimen causes abortion in 70-97 of cases, while most of the abortions occur within the first hours or days after taking the Misoprostal, 20-35 % will take up to several weeks. A surgical abortion is scheduled to complete the abortion if it has not occurred by that point because the drugs used can cause birth defects.
Side effects of medical abortion using Methotraxate and Misoprostal include: Significant cramping pain and heavy bleeding during the abortion, along with nausea, diarrhea, headache, fever and chills, prolonged bleeding for one to seven weeks after words, and infection, birth defects if pregnancy is ongoing and the fetus survives.
*** MIFEPRISTONE and MISOPROSTAL
“The abortion pill” Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, was APPROVED for abortion in July 2015 and is expected to be available on the market in the spring of 2016.
Mifepristone used together with Misoprostal is the most commonly used medical abortion combination worldwide.
Mifepristone blocks the production of progesterone ,a hormone that repairs the uterus lining for pregnancy. A day or two later, a woman then takes the drug Misoprostal, which causes contractions. Together, the drugs essentially induce miscarriage at home. Mifepristone /Misoprostal abortions are quicker than Methotrexate/Misoprostal. Both regimens have similar rates of complete abortion,side effects and complications. Serious infection and heavy prolonged bleeding are the most notable side effects.