RU 486 is a chemical compound that, taken in pill form, can induce abortion in women up to nine weeks pregnant. This compound gets the first part of its name from the French company, Roussel Uclaf, which first developed the abortion pill back in 1980. The “486” designation is the shortened version of the original “38486” compound number the pill was first assigned in the Roussel Uclaf laboratory.
RU486 is also known by its generic name, mifepristone, and by Mifegyne, the name under which RU486 is marketed in Europe. “Mifeprex,” is the name under which it is to be sold in the United States, though it will also be marketed as the “Early Option” pill
Mifepristone, also known as RU–486, is a medication typically used in combination with misoprostol to bring about an abortion during pregnancy. This combination is 97% effective during the first 63 days of pregnancy. It is also effective in the second trimester of pregnancy.
How It Works
RU486 blocks the progesterone receptors in your body (the hormone that is in charge of causing the uterine lining to build up and prepare for pregnancy). So, RU486 (mifepristone) basically causes the lining of your uterus to shed — so your pregnancy can no longer continue because the egg will have nothing to stay attached to.2 Then, the misoprostol will cause uterine contractions. This allows your uterus to be emptied.
You should definitely expect to feel some side effects after using the abortion pill.
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Heavy bleeding (there may be large clots in the blood)
- Stomach pain
- Mild fever or chills
- Less intrusive and painful to the body than surgical abortion.
- Some women feel like it is a more natural abortion option since it feels very similar to a miscarriage.
- Can be used early in a pregnancy.