Drug - Based Abortion Methods

Drug-based abortion methods typically require that a woman take two types of drugs within the first weeks of a confirmed pregnancy. In one method, a pregnant woman first takes the drug mifepristone, also known as RU-486, which blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to maintain the pregnancy.

Drug - Based Abortion Methods

About 48 hours later, she takes another drug called misoprostol. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin (a hormone-like chemical produced by the body) that causes contractions of the uterus, the organ in which the fetus develops. These uterine contractions expel the fetus.

Another type of drug combination that induces abortion is the use of misoprostol with methotrexate, an anticancer drug that interferes with cell division. A physician first injects a pregnant woman with methotrexate. About a week later, the woman takes a pill containing misoprostol to induce uterine contractions and expel the fetus.

These drug-based abortion methods effectively end pregnancy in 95 percent of the women who take them. The use of drugs to induce abortion has not been widely adopted by women in the United States for a number of reasons. These drugs can cause unpleasant side effects-some women experience nausea, cramping, and bleeding. More serious complications, such as arrhythmia, edema, and pneumonia, affect the heart and lungs and may cause death. Perhaps the primary deterrent is that these drug-based abortion methods require at least three visits to a physician over a period of several days, and these methods are no cheaper than a surgical abortion.

Similar Post You May Like

  • Malignant Tumor Forms

    Malignant Tumor Forms

    A tumor is a mass of cells not dependent upon an extracellular matrix. These cells can grow on top of each other, creating a mass of abnormal cells.

  • Pregnancy and Childbirth

    Pregnancy and Childbirth

    Ultrasound, or sound waves with frequencies above detection by the human ear, is commonly used in obstetrics to diagnose both the age and health of...

  • Tobacco smoke risk of cancer

    Tobacco smoke risk of cancer

    Smoking causes up to 30 percent of cancer deaths in the United States and Canada, making tobacco smoke the most lethal carcinogen...


  • Early Symptom Lung Cancer

    Lung Cancer

    A narrow region on chromosome 15 contains genetic variations strongly associated with familial lung cancer, says a study conducted by scientists at...

  • Anal Cancer

    Anal Cancer

    Anal cancer is an uncommon form of cancer affecting the anus. The anus is the inch-and-a-half-long end portion of the large intestine,...

  • Leukemia


    Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. About 31,000 new cases of leukemia are diagnosed in the United States and 3,500 new cases are diagnosed in Canada each year.