Medical Abortion (Abortion Pill)

KCRH provides non-surgical, medical abortion (Abortion Pill) to women up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

In addition to the non-surgical, medical abortion (Abortion Pill), a woman may have a Surgical First Trimester Abortion procedure.

All services are outpatient, by appointment only. Please call for available days and times.  As of July 1, 2015, Tennessee politicians have imposed a 48 hour waiting period requiring 2 trips to receive abortion services.

Which is best for me? — Medical Abortion vs. Surgical Abortion | view chart here or print [PDF Medical vs. Surgical]


The medical abortion (Abortion Pill) is a non-surgical option available to women who are up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy dating from the first day of their last normal menstrual period (LMP).

It is a safe and effective method of ending pregnancy using a combination of medications.

Patients must now make 2 trips, waiting 48 hours between visits.

Patients should expect to be in the office for three to six hours for each trip.  The first visit you will undergo lab tests, an ultrasound, video and educational materials explaining the procedure, informed consent and supportive counseling. On the second visit the physician will administer the first medication.

Rh typing is performed in our on-site lab and is included in the fee.  If you have proof of blood type on a donor card, military ID or lab report bring those results with you. There is an additional cost of $65 for those patients whose blood type is Rh negative, requiring a Rhogam  injection.

The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health offers Mifeprex (Mifepristone) in combination with Misoprostol. Mifeprex (previously known as RU-486 / Abortion Pill) is a progesterone hormone blocker that causes changes in the uterine lining, and stops the development of the pregnancy. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. Both medications must be taken to complete the abortion process and avoid complications.

The medical abortion is a combination of 200mg of oral Mifeprex, followed in 24-48 hours by 800mcg of Misoprostol bucally.

Studies show this regimen to be approximately 98% effective up to the 49th day of pregnancy, approximately 95% effective up to the 56th and 63rd day of pregnancy and about 92% effective up to the 70th day of pregnancy.  Medical abortions beyond 49 days may be associated with a slightly higher rate of complications such as excessive bleeding, incomplete abortions, and ongoing pregnancy.

 


The non-surgical Medical Abortion Procedure

  1. The physician administers the first medication, a 200mg tablet of Mifeprex, along with an antibiotic, which you take by mouth at the Center. You may or may not develop bleeding and/or nausea after taking this medication. Mifeprex can cause nausea. You may already be nauseous from your pregnancy.
  2. We encourage you to bring a driver with you so you can receive Phenergan, a medicine for nausea, while you are here at the clinic.
  3. You will receive a packet of four Misoprostol tablets to take home with you for later use. You will also be provided with Phenergan tablets (for nausea) and a prescription for pain medication.
  4. You will take the Misoprostol tablets bucally (between your gum and cheek) at home, as early as 24 hours after taking the Mifeprex, and no later than 48 hours after taking the Mifeprex.
  5. Once you have inserted the Misoprostol tablets, you should plan to be at home with no responsibilities for at least 24 hours. You will likely begin to experience bleeding, passing of blood clots, and cramping within a few hours of taking the Misoprostol.

The amount of bleeding and cramping varies greatly from one patient to the next. The heaviest bleeding usually begins as the pregnancy is moving out of the body, and lasts for two to three hours. Typically this bleeding exceeds that of a normal menstrual period, but will subside to a flow similar to a normal menstrual period after the pregnancy has been passed from the body. The average duration of bleeding is 9 to 16 days, though you may experience some bleeding for four to five weeks.

Cramping can be quite painful at times. You can expect to pass blood clots that range in size from very small to quite large (the size of golf balls or oranges). Although the pregnancy is very small at this stage, you may see tissue, including the pregnancy and the lining from the uterus, passing from your vagina.

Most women will pass the pregnancy from their body within 24 hours of taking the Misoprostol tablets. In a small number of cases, it can take weeks for the pregnancy to be expelled.

A follow-up exam is required in two weeks following treatment, to ensure that the abortion is complete.

Occasionally, additional treatment and testing is required either at the time of the follow-up, or after the follow-up exam. Heavy bleeding and the passage of blood clots may be experienced after the follow-up exam.

In addition, your next menstrual period may be heavier than normal, and include passing more blood clots. Each of your visits to the Center are extremely important.

Failure to complete any part of the treatment can endanger your health. If you fail to return for your follow-up or fail to provide follow-up documentation from another physician, we will contact you by phone or mail.

Safety and Risks 


The medical abortion is very safe and effective. However, as with any medical treatment, some risks are involved.  These risks are listed in the medical abortion consent form below.

The Center is committed to safely and completely terminating your pregnancy. We encourage all of our patients to follow their aftercare instructions and return for their follow-up exam. If there are problems or complications that arise, we prefer that you call us directly so that we can provide you with the care and treatment necessary to successfully terminate your pregnancy. Not all clinics are equipped to offer the surgical procedure to complete a “failed” medical abortion (about 2% of the time). Our facility provides this service to our patients at no additional cost.

For the safety of our patients, women considering the medical abortion option must be able to communicate well in English.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may present.

Medical Abortion (Abortion by Pill) Informed Consent [PDF MEDICAL ABORTION CONSENT]