Your period is late. You may have noticed it right away because your period is usually regular as clockwork, or maybe it took you some time to figure out that something was off. Now you are left wondering if this missed period means that you are pregnant. And although you are tempted to go take a pregnancy test, you may be too scared to really process what a positive result would entail. “What if I could instead find a way to get the abortion pill and take it without ever knowing for sure?” If this is what you are thinking, we recommend you to first read what follows, because we care about you and your safety.
If you are pregnant…
1. It could be an ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants outside of the uterus, and therefore, is not viable. In addition, an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening for the mother if not treated immediately. It’s important for you to know that the abortion pill will not remove an ectopic pregnancy. Instead, for your own safety, you may want to have an ultrasound to make sure that your pregnancy is not ectopic. If you decide to do so, you can have an ultrasound at Lifeline at no cost.
“But how common are ectopic pregnancies”, you may ask. Good question! They happen in 1 in 50 pregnancies, and multiple factors can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. For example, a woman is more at risk if she:
- Is over 35 years old
- Has endometriosis
- Has more than one sex partner
- Has an IUD (Intrauterine Device) in place
Usually, an ectopic pregnancy implants in the fallopian tube (95% of cases), but it can also burrow in the cervix, the ovary, or even in the abdomen. Regardless of the location, a woman with an ectopic pregnancy needs immediate medical attention to prevent rupture and internal bleeding.
2. The abortion pill is not without risks
Heavy bleeding and cramping are common side-effects of the abortion pill (which actually consists of two medications – mifepristone and misoprostol), but these are not the only ones. You may have an incomplete abortion, in which parts of the embryo stay in your uterus and lead to infection. About this, the label of the Mifeprex medication (the first abortion pill, mifepristone) warns that “cases of fatal septic shock, have been reported following the use of MIFEPREX”. In addition, did you know that the abortion pill can result in other, life-threatening issues in women who:
- Use corticosteroid therapy (to treat asthma, allergies, psoriasis, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and more)
- Have chronic adrenal failure
- Are on anticoagulant treatments
- Have unknown allergies, including to the abortion pill?
The list goes on and only covers the risks associated with the first abortion pill, mifepristone. You can check the label for yourself here. We believe that only a medical professional can assess those risks correctly in your particular case, and make suggestions for you to stay safe. At Lifeline, we have registered nurses on staff that can meet with you, listen to you, and discuss your different needs and options.
3. You may want to know in the future
You may be scared right now, which is normal. Nonetheless, are you okay with making a decision that will impact the rest of your life without having all the information? Think about other scenarios not related to pregnancy. Would you agree to a surgery without first making sure you need it? Would you travel to a country without knowing whether it is war-free? These are only a couple examples and you can probably come up with more ideas, but the point is the same. You probably wouldn’t make a decision in haste, simply out of fear. While fear is natural, talking to someone about it may help you make a decision with a clear mind. A decision that you will be able to fully understand and own. Don’t let fear dictate your life.
If you are not pregnant…
1. Your missed period may be due to an underlying health issue
Missing a period doesn’t necessarily mean pregnancy. Did you know that according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), between 9 to 14% of women experience irregular periods at some point in their life? A missed or late period can sometimes be caused by benign factors, such as stress, a new birth control, or a change in lifestyle. Other times, though, it could potentially indicate a more serious health issue. For example, a missed period might be due to:
- A thyroid condition
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
- Another chronic condition such as celiac disease or diabetes
2. The abortion pill will not treat the underlying health issue
If the reason behind your late or missed period isn’t pregnancy but an underlying health condition, taking the abortion pill will not help. It could instead just do the opposite by delaying a proper diagnosis, while also making you go through painful side effects.
Being scared is understandable, but you are not alone. Lifeline offers no-cost services that include pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and counseling. We have registered nurses and other professional staff to support you during this challenging time.
What if you have taken the first abortion pill already and now regret it? It might not be too late. Learn more about abortion pill reversal here.