Can I take the abortion pill while breastfeeding?
The answer is: This is a specialized medical question that must be answered only by your doctor. Your OB/GYN will be able to answer your questions regarding breastfeeding and taking the abortion pill, as it’s unique to each person.
There are very few studies surrounding the side effects of the abortion pill on breastfeeding.
What little data there is suggests that breastfeeding while taking the abortion pill is harmless, but the effects of the pills on breastfed infants are still unknown. Studies do show that levels of medical abortion drugs were found in breastmilk days after administration.
Whether you’re breastfeeding and considering taking the abortion pill, contact White Rose Women’s Center to learn more.
What is the Abortion Pill?
The abortion pill is a type of medical abortion used to terminate a pregnancy. A method of abortion used up to 10 weeks gestation, the abortion pill is actually a combination of two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol. These drugs are taken sequentially to empty the contents of the uterus.
The first dose – a 200mg Mifepristone pill – begins the process by blocking the body’s progesterone, a hormone that is needed to continue a pregnancy in its early stages. This breaks down the uterine lining so that the embryo detaches from the uterine wall.
The second pill, Misoprostol, is taken a few days later. This pill is used to induce labor and expels the detached embryo from the uterus.
Will the Abortion Pill Affect My Fertility?
Generally, the abortion pill isn’t thought to cause infertility issues or complications for future pregnancies.
There may, however, be a possible link between pregnancy termination and an increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Side Effects of the Abortion Pill on Breastfeeding
An increasing number of women undergo medical abortions while still breastfeeding from a previous pregnancy.
Little research has been done regarding the potential side effects of the abortion pill on breastfeeding. What limited data we do have suggests that the level of mifepristone and misoprostol in breast milk is low, especially if using a 200 mg dose.
Effects of Mifepristone
There is no data on the use of Mifepristone, the first of the abortion pills, during lactation. There have been studies, however, that show the levels of mifepristone in breast milk collected from women undergoing medical abortion.
- The milk concentrations of mifepristone were highest in the first 12 hours after administration, but were still detected (in declining concentrations) up to 7 days later.
Effects of Misoprostol
Misoprostol, the second of the two abortion pills, is excreted into human breast milk in small amounts. These amounts are quickly eliminated, resulting in a short interruption of breastfeeding — about 5 hours after an oral dose.
According to the US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health, breastfeeding can be safely continued in an uninterrupted manner during a medical abortion.
That being said, the manufacturer’s recommendation is to withhold breastfeeding for 26 days after administration of the abortion pill.
We’re Here to Help.
If you’re considering taking the abortion pill while breastfeeding, or want to know how it may affect you in the future, contact White Rose Women’s Center. We can help answer your questions and explain any potential risks.