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Abortion, even though always a matter of controversy, has been a matter motivating numerous medical branches towards developing a successful method for terminating a woman's pregnancy safely. Therefore, today, we have a history of failed trials of supposedly effective medications which terminate pregnancy and numerous similar products of this type. However, some inventions, like the RU486, commonly known as “abortion pill”, hold great promise.

The RU486

This medication is allowed to be used for non-surgical abortions in the US. Nevertheless, RU486 is only effective in pregnancies which have lasted up to 9 weeks.

This drug is also referred to as Mifepristone and is accepted by the FDA. This drug blocks the receptors for progesterone, which is the crucial hormone, necessary for the pregnancy to take place successfully. Thus, the RU486 triggers a spontaneous abortion when combined with a proper dose of yet another drug, Cytotec.

Facts about RU486 and Cytotec

Between 1994 and 1995, more than 600,000 European women managed to stop their pregnancies with these drugs. In the US, special trials were carried out on 2,121 women, being successful in up to 92% of cases. Moreover, 95.7% of women who have undergone the non-surgical abortion said that they would recommend the treatment to other women. Amazingly, 85.9% of women who failed to achieve the desired result with these drugs claimed that they would recommend the therapy to other women regardless.

Since this combination of drugs triggers some quite radical changes in the female body, triggering miscarriage, common side effects are uterine cramps, bleeding, tiredness and nausea. Yet, being a non-invasive procedure, this type of abortion does not require anesthesia.

The treatment begins once the doctors has established that the pregnancy has not taken place for longer than 9 weeks. This can be seen through ultrasound scanning. Immediately after this process, the RU486 is taken. Then, up to three days after, Cytotec is inserted into the vagina of the patient. Then, after the whole procedure has been completed, miscarriage occurs 24 hours later, in most cases.

However, if the process fails, Cytotec is applied again. Through the whole procedure, the doctor monitors the state through the ultrasound. If the miscarriage does not happen after two weeks, a surgical intervention is necessary. This is the case in about 8% of these procedures.

Finally, apart from the side-effects, this type of abortion may result in hemorrhage which requires an additional surgical intervention. Also, no sexual intercourse is allowed for at least two weeks after the miscarriage. Ultimately, the women undergoing the process must sign that she agrees to have a classic, surgical abortion procedure performed, should the non-surgical one fail.

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