The abortion pill (also referred to as a “medical abortion”) terminates an existing pregnancy, while Plan B (also referred to as the “morning-after pill”) prevents a pregnancy from occurring. 

This article will detail how the abortion pill and Plan B work, the risks, and the steps you can take if you think you might be pregnant. But if you’re looking for a safe space to talk or learn more about free resources, contact Pregnancy Center West to schedule a free, confidential appointment.

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

The abortion pill is actually a combination of two different powerful drugs. 

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the essential hormone progesterone, which causes your uterine lining to loosen and shed. Your pregnancy will then detach and end.

The second drug, misoprostol, causes uterine contractions, which expel the pregnancy from your uterus and out through your vagina.

After taking these drugs, you will experience vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping, and some women have reported that the pain is unexpectedly severe. 

You might also experience a risk, which is rare but can include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in your uterus
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

The abortion drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks gestation, and if you take them further into pregnancy, you’re more likely to experience a risk. 

How Does Plan B Work?

Plan B is intended to be used as an emergency contraceptive after your routine method of birth control has failed, and it works best if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. 

Plan B works by preventing or delaying ovulation, and side effects can include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps

You’re Not Alone

Worried you might be pregnant? You’re likely feeling overwhelmed right now, but you’re not alone. At Pregnancy Center West, we understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to help.

Contact us today to get the answers you need in a safe, supportive space.