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RU-486 (Mifepristone (Mifeprex) and Misoprostol)

  • Mifepristone is given orally during your first office visit. Mifepristone blocks progesterone from the uterine lining, causing the fetus to die. This alone may cause contractions to expel the fetus.
  • Misoprostol tablets are given orally or inserted vaginally during the second office visit which occurs 36 to 48 hours later.
  • You will return home where the misoprostol will start contractions and expel the fetus. This may occur within a few hours or in some cases up to two weeks after taking the misoprostol.
  • A physical exam is given two weeks later to ensure the abortion was complete and that there are no immediate complications.

Risks and Side Effects:

  • The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 8-10% of the time, thus requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease, or use an intrauterine device (IUD)

Fetal Development: Week 5-9

  • Development of brain and spinal cord
  • Heart begins to beat
  • Hands and feet are forming
  • Every essential organ has begun to form
  • Bones begin to form, muscles can contract

Mayo Clinic (2011).  Fetal Development – The first trimester.  Retrieved from: