Birth Control Overview (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
A drug called mifepristone (also known as RU-486) can block a hormone called progesterone that is needed for pregnancy to continue, if an egg has been fertilized and implanted in your uterus. By taking this drug (and another one called misoprostol), a pregnancy can end if it has been 49 days or fewer since your last menstrual period.
These drugs are given only by a doctor and only by certain doctors who are trained to diagnose problems that may develop such as ectopic pregnancy. You will be asked to sign a statement indicating you understand you are ending a pregnancy.
Once you take on oral dose (pill taken by mouth) of mifepristone, you will be given misoprostol 2 days later to cause your uterus to contract and expel the embryo through the vagina.
You will experience cramping and bleeding, and you must return to your doctor a few times for examination. This method is not a preventive form of birth control. For more information on pregnancy termination, see Abortion.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014
Omnia M Samra, MD
Bryan D Cowan, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
Must Read Articles Related to Birth Control Overview
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Birth Control:
Birth Control - Patient Experience
Have you tried birth control through behavioral methods? Was it effective? Please describe your experience.
Birth Control - Side Effects
Did you experience side effects from using an intrauterine device or other methods of medical birth control? If so, please describe the side effects.
Women's Health Resources
- Your Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- What to Know Before You Get Pregnant
- Birth Control and Insurance FAQ
- Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
- Breast Cancer Treatment Options
- Is Your Body Ready for Pregnancy?