What is the difference between a medical abortion and a miscarriage? Sometimes abortion pills are called “miscarriage pills,” but does a medical abortion cause a miscarriage?

Medical abortion – an elective procedure where a pregnancy is terminated before the 10th week of pregnancy using a regimen of drugs known as the abortion pill.

Miscarriage – a spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of pregnancy that is not caused by anything a woman does or does not do.

By this definition, the abortion pill will cause a medical abortion, not a miscarriage, because a miscarriage by nature is spontaneous and not induced.

If you are considering taking the abortion pill, confirm your pregnancy with a free onsite pregnancy test appointment, and if needed, an ultrasound to confirm viability and how far along your pregnancy has progressed.

white round pills against pink background

Similarities Between Medical Abortion and Miscarriage

Medical abortions are often compared to miscarriages because both events end in the termination of a pregnancy and share similar symptoms, side effects, and risks. Both involve:

  • cramping and pain in the lower abdomen
  • discharge of fluid and bleeding
  • discharge of tissue
  • no longer experiencing pregnancy symptoms, including morning sickness or breast tenderness
    require medical oversight to eliminate the risk of infection

Though there are shared symptoms and side effects between a miscarriage and a medical abortion, it is important to understand these are not one and the same and to know the differences.

Next steps

Find out exactly how far along you are with a free ultrasound.

Speak with a medical professional about your pregnancy options based on the findings of the ultrasound and your health history.

How the Abortion Pill Works

The abortion pill is a regimen of drugs used to induce a medical abortion. These drugs first stop the production of progesterone, a pregnancy hormone necessary to sustain a healthy pregnancy, and then cause contractions to expel the pregnancy out of the uterus.

If you are considering the abortion pill, Human Life Services offers free consultations and information on the abortion pill and pregnancy options so you can make an informed decision. While we do not provide or refer for the abortion pill or abortion services, we offer free pregnancy testing and ultrasound services, so you have the information you need to make an empowered decision.

Considering the Abortion Pill?

If you are considering taking the abortion pill, there is some information you need first:

You should know many weeks your pregnancy has progressed. An ultrasound can determine exactly how far along you are. This information will determine if the abortion pill is an option that applies to your situation.

The location of your pregnancy. If the pregnancy is developing outside of the uterus, it is known as an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, and can be a life-threatening condition that may require a surgical procedure. Taking an abortion pill in this circumstance will not end the pregnancy.

Additional medical conditions could make you ineligible to take the abortion pill. A licensed medical professional should review your health history with you for your own safety.

Human Life Services can help you gather this information through free pregnancy testing and ultrasound confirmation services before you decide. No insurance is required. Make an appointment today.