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Your choice…
a private matter

  • Abortion by Pill - RU486 medical abortion is available at Potomac Family Planning.
We Believe…
Every woman should be able to make choices about her pregnancy.

Our job is to provide compassionate care safely, affordably and confidentially. That is why we have won the TRUST of generations of women.


Abortion by Pill is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy by using medicine. You must be at least 18 years of age to receive a medical abortion.

The non-surgical abortion process also known as RU486 / medical abortion may be used up to 10 weeks (70 days) from your last menstrual period (LMP). It is  way to end pregnancy with medicine, without using instruments or surgery.

  • On the day of your appointment you will receive an ultrasound and laboratory work.
  • A clinician will meet with you to review all instructions, give you your medications and answer your questions.
  • You will take the first pill (Mifeprex) in the office. Within 48 hours you will use the second pills (misoprostol) at home. The combination of the two medicines will cause you to bleed and in most cases end the pregnancy within a few hours of using the second medicine at home.
  • You’ll return in 3 weeks to make sure everything worked properly.

Why do some women prefer the medical abortion?

  • No anesthesia or surgery required
  • It can be done very early in the pregnancy
  • They feel more in control
  • They may feel it is less invasive and more “natural”
  • They may feel it’s more like a miscarriage
  • It’s more private, the abortion is at home

Who can choose medical abortion?

You must be at least 18 years old. You may choose the abortion if you are less than 10 weeks (70 days) pregnant from the first day of your last period. You must agree to have a surgical abortion if the medical abortion fails. You need access to a telephone, transportation, and backup medical care.

Medical abortion is NOT recommended if you:

  • are more than 10 weeks (70 days) pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • take anti-clotting medication or have blood-clotting disorders
  • have severe heart, liver, or active inflammatory bowel disease
  • have certain severe kidney problems
  • have serious immune system problems, such as HIV
  • have seizures
  • take any medicine that should not be combined with Mifeprex (mifepristone) or misoprostol
  • cannot return for a follow up or cannot have someone with you when you use the misoprostol at home

How does the medical abortion work?

There are two steps: Your clinician gives you a Mifeprex tablet to take in the office which blocks the hormone progesterone and ends the pregnancy. In 24 to 48 hours you will use a second medicine, misoprostol, at home, causing your uterus to contract and empty. In combination the drugs cause a miscarriage.

How long does it take?

Some women (2-5%) may begin to bleed after using the Mifeprex in the office. Even so you must use misoprostol as instructed. Most women will bleed and pass the pregnancy within several hours of using the misoprostol at home.

How effective is it?

Medical abortion is approximately 95% effective. Mifeprex and misoprostol will cause serious birth defects to this pregnancy. If the medical abortion does not work a surgical abortion MUST be performed.

The pill has a small rate of failure. If surgery or additional medicine is required to complete the process, there is no extra charge if performed in our office.

How does it feel?

You may experience some or all of the following:

  • strong cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

You will be given prescribed medication to help manage the discomfort.

Will I need a follow-up?

Yes, about three weeks following the medication to make sure the abortion is complete.

What if I don’t have a complete abortion after taking the medicine?

Your physician will decide what option is best for you.

You may:

  • Take more misoprostol
  • Need a surgical D&C (at no additional cost for local anesthesia and a small fee for general anesthesia)

When will I get my period?

You should expect your next menstrual cycle four to eight weeks after the abortion. If you start hormonal birth control you will know exactly when your period will begin.

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Abortion by pill is available at all of our centers.

To estimate the length of your pregnancy, enter the first day of your last period and then press 'calculate'.

First Day of Last Menstrual Period: Select Date
Estimated Length of Pregnancy:
Estimated Conception Date:
Estimated Due Date:

The Pregnancy Calculator above is an estimation of weeks from reported last normal menstrual period and does not constitute medical advice. A missed period does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant, and having a period does not mean you are not pregnant. Only an exam, pregnancy test, or ultrasound by a physician can confirm pregnancy and approximate length of pregnancy. The calculator should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon for weeks of pregnancy, conception date, or due date.