The Abortion Pill - What do I need to know?

The Abortion Pill is now available in Canada - finally!  Women have been using this abortion method in the United States and Europe for decades.  So what is the dirt on this kind of abortion?

For starters, it is quite effective for causing an abortion in early pregnancy.  Health Canada has approved the abortion pill, called Mifegymiso, for terminating pregnancies up to 9 weeks from your last menstrual period.  

The method is now very convenient.  It can be prescribed by any physician or nurse practitioner, and the medication can be picked up at your local pharmacy.  That means that the abortion pill gets a check mark for convenience, especially if you are living far away from an abortion clinic.

When you take the Abortion Pill, the termination - or miscarriage - happens in the comfort of your own home.  This usually occurs 4-6 hours after you take the second dose of medication.  You will experience cramping and bleeding.  Sometimes the cramping will be severe, and it is helpful to have some pain medication on hand.  The bleeding may be light or heavy; if you are worried about the amount of bleeding then you should contact your health care provider.

At Bloor West Village Women's Clinic we do a thorough assessment of your pregnancy before prescribing a medical abortion (the abortion pill), including using an ultrasound to ensure that your pregnancy is at the right stage and that there are no other complications.  Along with the Mifegymiso we also provide you with pain medication to help with the cramping, and information on what to expect and what to do in case of complications.  We will follow-up with you to make sure that the procedure was successful and address any of your concerns, including a prescription for birth control or inserting an IUD.

About ten percent of women will take several weeks to complete the miscarriage, and some women will not pass the pregnancy and will eventually need a surgical abortion.  As we provide surgical abortions on site, we can treat women who need care after a failed medical abortion.  

If you had a medical abortion at another clinic that was not successful, then talk to your clinician about a referral to Bloor West Village Women's Clinic.  We are happy to provide care for women in Toronto and the GTA, as well as other locations such as Barrie, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, London, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Windsor, to name a few.  We provide surgical management of failed medical abortions, something that your doctor or nurse practitioner may not have easy access to.  We have many same-day and next-day appointments so that you can be seen quickly at our facility, and we even see walk-in patients if needed.  

Also if you are not able to find someone to prescribe the abortion pill in your community, then we are happy to help.  Please contact Bloor West Village Women's Clinic for further information.