What is medication termination?

  • By Dr Rose Wang
  • ●    19 Mar 2017

Medical termination is an effective and safe way to terminate an early pregnancy. It is an alternative to a surgical abortion.

The medications mimic the process of a miscarriage, and involves a simple 2 step process.


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Who can have a medical termination?

Medical terminations are safe up to 9 weeks (63 days) of gestation.

There are only few medical indications, where a medical termination would not be recommend.

These include if you

  • are currently breastfeeding
  • have a bleeding disorder or currently take blood thinning medications
  • have a medical condition for which you need to take high doses of steroids such as severe asthma, adrenal failure
  • any previous allergy to mifepristone, misoprostol or prostaglandins
  • have an or suspected of having an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus)
  • have an IUD (must be removed before the termination)

What does the medical termination involve?

The medications for a medical termination are administered in 2 steps.

You will receive the first tablet on you booking visit. This tablet blocks the hormone that maintains the pregnancy. Most women do not get any side effect for this tablet, some may get a little bit of spotting or bleeding. On your booking visit also, the doctor will do an ultrasound to confirm the gestation of pregnancy and take a blood test. It is also a time to discuss your future contraception plans.

You will take the second lot of 4 tablets 24 to 48 hours after the first step. These tablets help to contract the uterus to expel to products of pregnancy. Most women will start experiencing the bleeding and cramping within 4-24 hours of taking the tablets. The cramping will be the worst within the first 24 hours, and the bleeding will be heavier than your usual period, and last on an average of 10-16 days.

What happens after the booking visit? What about my future fertility?

It is very important that you attend for a follow-up visit in 3-4 weeks. At the follow up visit, the doctors will perform another ultrasound to make sure that the abortion has been completed. This is because there is a 2-7% chance of having retained products left inside the womb. In 1-2% of the cases, the medical termination will be unsuccessful and a surgical abortion will be necessitated. At the follow-up visit, the doctor will also discuss your future contraception plans.

The medications for medical terminations does not impact on your future fertility. In fact, you would conceive immediately after a medical termination, so it is very important to use effective contraception which will enable you to plan your next pregnancy, or prevent one from happening again.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to browse through our Clinic 66 website or contact Clinic 66 on (02) 9411 3411 and have a chat with one of our friendly staff.

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