Did you know that in 2021 alone, there were 214,256 abortions carried out for female residents of England and Wales? This is the highest number since the Abortion Act was introduced. A whopping 87% of these abortions were performed using the medical abortion pill, rather than pregnancy termination surgery. This figure rose by 2% from previous years. Although abortions can be carried out on the NHS, private clinics are a popular option due to no waiting lists and convenience. Here, we discuss the cost of abortion pill in the UK.
What is the abortion pill process?
An abortion pill process, also known as a medical abortion, is a non-invasive way to end a pregnancy. The two drugs used in a medical abortion are mifepristone and misoprostol.
Typically, the process begins with a consultation from a gynaecologist who will confirm the pregnancy and look for any contraindications. Medical abortion with pill follows these steps:
Step 1: Mifepristone pill will be taken orally.
Step 2: 24-48 hours after Step 1, Misoprostol tablets will be taken buccally (inserted between the cheeks and gums) for 30 minutes and then swallowed with some water. Alternatively, they can be inserted vaginally.
Step 3: Once you’ve taken or inserted the Misoprostol tablets, in most cases you will experience cramps and period-like pain which feels similar to a very heavy period. The process may take 6-8 hours, during which time you will have bleeding with clots and sometimes you may see a small foetus, depending on the stage of the pregnancy. The cramps and bleeding may continue for a period of 1-2 weeks depending on the duration of pregnancy. Additionally, some women may develop fever, diarrhoea, and/or nausea. It’s important to make an effort to mentally and emotionally get ready for this time.
What is the cost of abortion pill in the UK and can I get an abortion pill online?
In the UK, the cost of abortion pill (mifepristone and misoprostol) can vary depending on where you go to obtain it. At the time of writing this, costs for abortion pills by post are around £500-600. It’s important to note that the abortion pill is available for free on the National Health Service (NHS) in England, Scotland, and Wales, so you may not have to pay for it if you’re eligible for NHS services. Private clinics may afford you less waiting times, more convenience, and longer appointment times.
Obtaining abortion pills from an unlicensed or unregulated source poses a risk to your life and should be avoided at all costs.
Is an abortion by pill safe?
The safety of abortion pills is a subject of much discussion. The good news is that abortion by pill is very safe. Mifepristone and misoprostol are the two drugs used in medical abortion to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks in the UK.
Studies have shown that the use of mifepristone in combination with misoprostol is highly effective for ending early pregnancy. According to a meta-analysis of studies involving over 70,000 women, the overall efficacy of mifepristone and misoprostol for ending early pregnancies is more than 95%.
Additionally, studies have shown that medical abortion is safe, with serious complications being rare. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of serious complications from medical abortion is less than 0.5%
It’s also important to note that mifepristone and misoprostol have been used in many countries for decades. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mifepristone in combination with misoprostol as one of the most safe and effective methods of abortion.
Are there any side effects of the abortion pill?
The side effects of abortion pills can vary from person to person. However, some common side effects include:
Thankfully, these side effects are typically mild and go away on their own within a few days. However, if you experience severe bleeding, severe pain, fever, chills, or other symptoms that may indicate a problem, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
It’s also important to note that medical abortion may not be suitable for everyone and should not be used in certain cases, such as an ectopic pregnancy, or if you have certain medical conditions, such as a bleeding disorder or an allergy to any of the drugs.
Does abortion pill affect my fertility in the longer run?
It is not thought that abortion pills have a long-term impact on your fertility. After a medical abortion, most people are able to conceive and have healthy pregnancies. Though, like any medication, some people may have an allergic or adverse reaction to the drugs used in medical abortion. However, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns regarding your fertility or any other health related issues. They will be able to provide you with accurate information and advice based on your individual circumstances.
Medical abortion – further reading
We hope this article has provided useful information about the cost of abortion pill and how a medical abortion can be carried out safely. Additionally, if you still require further information, we recommend taking a look at the following sources: