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Also known as a medical abortion, the abortion pill is an FDA-approved, non-surgical method for terminating early pregnancies. Women beyond ten weeks of pregnancy are ineligible for a medical abortion. 

Additionally, women who have a pregnancy outside of the uterus or are taking certain medications are not eligible to receive the abortion pill.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Confirming the location of a woman’s pregnancy is essential to protecting her health. At times, a fertilized egg (embryo) can begin to grow outside of the uterus. 

An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening if it is not discovered and removed. Ectopic pregnancies require medical attention and cannot end by taking the abortion pill. 

Possible initial signs of an ectopic pregnancy include vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. It is paramount that one verifies their pregnancy with a lab-quality pregnancy test and ultrasound to determine the pregnancy’s health, age, and location. 

Gestational Age

Knowing how far along you are is essential to determining if you can use the abortion pill. If you are more than ten weeks, your pregnancy is too advanced for the abortion pill to end the pregnancy. 

The best way to determine gestational age is through ultrasound. When determining gestational age, it is also a great time to assess the health and viability of pregnancy to discern any possible complications that can arise when taking the abortion pill. 

Potential Complications

Some complications that can arise from taking the abortion pill include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

These risks may become more likely if the abortion pill is taken outside the initial ten weeks of pregnancy. 

Other Causes for Being Ineligible to Receive the Abortion Pill

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are other reasons for not being eligible for the abortion pill, in addition to the maximum gestational age of 10 weeks or having an ectopic pregnancy. 

These include:

  • Having an IUD or intrauterine device in place
  • Having certain medical conditions, like bleeding disorders, heart and blood vessel diseases, a severe disease of the kidney, lung, or liver, or uncontrolled seizure disorder
  • Taking blood thinners or steroid medicines
  • Being unable to attend follow-up visits with your provider or not having access to emergency care
  • Being allergic to the medication used

Next Steps?

To truly determine eligibility for a medical abortion, an ultrasound is essential. Ultrasounds help determine the location, health, and age of the pregnancy. 

Contact us today for a free and confidential limited ultrasound appointment to determine your options. 

An unplanned pregnancy can be terrifying, but you’re not alone. We’re here to walk beside you on this journey. 

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