For many women, the thought of an unplanned pregnancy can be overwhelming, and the process of making the decision to have an abortion can be daunting. While there are several different methods available for terminating a pregnancy, one option that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of abortion pills.
However, despite the growing acceptance of abortion pills, there are still several myths and misconceptions surrounding this method that may cause confusion. In this article, we will explore and debunk five of the most common myths about abortion pills.
Myth 1: Abortion Pills are Unsafe and Dangerous
One of the most common misconceptions about abortion pills is that they are unsafe and dangerous for women. However, this is simply not true. In fact, abortion pills are one of the safest methods available for terminating a pregnancy, with a success rate of around 95%.
Abortion pills work by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is essential for the continuation of pregnancy, and causing the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy tissue. This process is similar to a natural miscarriage and typically takes a few hours to a few days to complete.
Abortion pills are also FDA-approved and have been used safely for over two decades, with minimal risks or complications. Some women may experience mild to moderate side effects, such as cramping, nausea, or vomiting, but these are usually temporary.
Myth 2: Abortion Pills Can Only Be Administered In-Office
Another common myth about abortion pills is that they can only be administered in a clinical setting, which can be both inconvenient and intimidating for some women. However, this is not entirely true.
The advent of telemedicine has made it possible for women to access a prescription from a healthcare provider from the comfort of their own home. The FDA has also expanded access to mifepristone at pharmacies across the nation and made it possible for women to receive the abortion pill through the mail.
The process of telemedicine typically involves a remote consultation with a healthcare provider, who can evaluate a woman’s medical history and assess their eligibility for the medication. If deemed appropriate, the healthcare provider can then prescribe the medication and provide instructions for its use. This method has been shown to be just as safe and effective as in-office administration, with similar success rates and low rates of complications.
Myth 3: Abortion Pills Cause Infertility and Other Long-Term Health Problems
There is a common misconception that abortion pills can cause long-term health problems, such as infertility, breast cancer, or future pregnancy complications. However, these concerns are largely unfounded.
Studies have shown that abortion pills are not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer or future pregnancy complications, and there is no evidence to suggest that they cause infertility. Severe side effects are rare, and there is no evidence to suggest that abortion pills cause long-term damage to the reproductive system or other organs.
In addition, abortion pills may be a safer option than other methods of abortion, such as surgical procedures. That’s because a medication abortion is non-invasive. A few serious possible complications of medication abortion include heavy bleeding, infection, and ectopic pregnancy.
Myth 4: Abortion Pills Always Result in Incomplete Abortions
There is a common belief that abortion pills always result in incomplete abortions, requiring follow-up medical care or even surgical intervention. However, this is not entirely true. While it is true that a small percentage of patients may experience an incomplete abortion (0.2% to 3% of cases), the vast majority of women who take abortion pills experience a successful termination of their pregnancy.
Additionally, there are several ways to minimize the risk of an incomplete abortion, such as ensuring that the medication is taken as directed and used under the supervision of a healthcare provider. If an incomplete abortion does occur, it can typically be managed with medication or a minor surgical procedure.
It is important to note that the risk of an incomplete abortion may vary depending on an individual’s medical history, the length of the pregnancy, and other factors. As such, it is important to discuss any concerns or questions with a healthcare provider to ensure that the medication is taken safely. Healthcare providers can also provide information and resources for post-abortion care and support.
Myth 5: Most Women Regret Their Decision to Have an Abortion
There is a common misconception that women who have an abortion will regret their decision. Studies have shown that the majority of women who have an abortion do not experience regret, and that the majority of women feel that the decision was the right one for them at the time.
One study found that 72% of women were satisfied about their decision two years after having an abortion. Most of the women who did experience regret after an abortion had a history of depression. Another study found that relief was the most commonly felt emotion five years after an abortion.
The decision to have an abortion is a deeply personal one, and many women report feeling a sense of relief and empowerment after the procedure. For many women, an unplanned pregnancy can cause significant stress and disruption to their lives. However, the decision to have an abortion can provide a sense of control and the ability to move forward. It is important to recognize that the experience of having an abortion can vary widely between individuals and that there is no right or wrong way to feel.
Setting the Record Straight
While there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding abortion pills, evidence suggests that these concerns are largely unfounded. Abortion pills have been used safely for over two decades and are associated with a high success rate and low rates of complications. It is important for women to have access to accurate information and resources to make an informed decision about their reproductive health.
If you or a loved one have questions or concerns about abortion pills, feel free to contact one of our experts. Through this platform, you can speak with a healthcare provider to determine if a medication abortion is the right option. A healthcare provider can guide you on everything you need to know to make the right decision for you.
Pawde AA, Ambadkar A, Chauhan AR. A Study of Incomplete Abortion Following Medical Method of Abortion (MMA). J Obstet Gynaecol India. 2016 Aug;66(4):239-43. doi: 10.1007/s13224-015-0673-1. Epub 2015 Feb 5. PMID: 27382216; PMCID: PMC4912486.
Bord I, Gdalevich M, Nahum R, Meltcer S, Anteby EY, Orvieto R. Misoprostol treatment for early pregnancy failure does not impair future fertility. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2014 Apr;30(4):316-9. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2013.879855. Epub 2014 Jan 23. PMID: 24455996.
Rocca CH, Samari G, Foster DG, Gould H, Kimport K. Emotions and decision rightness over five years following an abortion: An examination of decision difficulty and abortion stigma. Soc Sci Med. 2020 Mar;248:112704. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112704. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31941577.
Major B, Cozzarelli C, Cooper ML, Zubek J, Richards C, Wilhite M, Gramzow RH. Psychological responses of women after first-trimester abortion. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000 Aug;57(8):777-84. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.57.8.777. PMID: 10920466.