Everything you need to know about: Missed Period Pills

Missed Period Pills  

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What Pill Do You Take If You Miss a Period

  • Missed period pills, also known as late period pills, are intended to restart a late period. One of several reasons for a missed period could be pregnancy.
  • Missed period pills contain the same active ingredients as the abortion pill — mifepristone and misoprostol. These drugs would cause an abortion if you are pregnant.
  • Since pregnancy is not confirmed or ruled out before period pills are prescribed, an ectopic pregnancy may be the cause of a missed period.

This article provides information regarding missed period pills, how they work, their active ingredients, possible side effects, and more.

What Are Missed Period Pills?

Maybe your period is late, and you wonder: How can I get my period back? Perhaps you fear that a pregnancy might be the reason for your late period. And now you are wondering whether you should get the Missed Period Pill.

What Are the Active Ingredients of Missed Period Pills?

Missed Period Pills contain mifepristone and misoprostol. These are the same active ingredients found in the abortion pill. Mifepristone blocks the effects of progesterone, a hormone essential for maintaining a pregnancy. Misoprostol causes contractions, cramping, and bleeding. This expels the contents of the uterus.

How Do Period Pills Work?

The term “missed period pill” is misleading, as it suggests the pill will simply trigger one's period to resume. While it will cause period-like bleeding, this may not be menstrual bleeding. If pregnancy is the reason for a missed period, the period pill would trigger an abortion, and the woman may not be able to tell the difference.

What Are the Side Effects of the Late-Period Pill?

Late-period pills contain hormone-disrupting drugs aimed at pregnancy termination. It is essential to weigh the risks and side effects, especially when possibly not pregnant or not intending an abortion.

Side effects of the missed period pill that may need medical attention include:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Dizziness, chills, or hot flashes
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Increased or reduced heart rate
  • Infections

Heavy bleeding may necessitate curettage or blood transfusion. For this reason, missed period pills should only be used under medical supervision and  near an emergency room.

Other Medical Concerns

Some medical issues may affect the use of the missed period pill. Please talk to your doctor if:

  • You have an IUD. This would need to be removed before proceeding.
  • You are on medications that exacerbate bleeding, such as steroids or blood thinners (anticoagulants).
  • You have heart, liver, or kidney concerns.
  • You have a history of hemorrhaging.
  • You are anemic.
  • You have a known allergy to mifepristone or misoprostol.
  • You have or suspect an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy developing in fallopian tubes instead of the uterus).

What Are the Emotional Concerns in Using the Missed Period Pill?

A pregnancy cannot be terminated without the woman's informed consent. This is not the case with the missed period pill since it is unclear whether the woman is pregnant. She is unaware of what the pills are doing to her body.

Waiving the need for informed consent may initially seem to relieve the woman from making a difficult decision, but it also removes her right to choose. Every woman is entitled to free choice based on receiving adequate information. She deserves to be confident and informed in her pregnancy decisions.

Taking the missed period pill is accompanied by a lack of closure as to whether an abortion has occurred. This unanswered question might afflict women later. Someone who has taken the missed period pill may experience the complex emotions associated with pregnancy termination even if she was not pregnant.

Common Reasons for a Missed Period

The female body can be easily affected by diet, health, environment, or mood changes. Even if your period is usually regular, fluctuations are common and may explain your late period.
A doctor's appointment can help you understand your body, fertility, and menstrual cycle. Your medical provider can also help identify underlying health issues causing your missed period, such as PCOS or endometriosis.

If you are on birth control and have missed a period, it does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. You can read about other possible reasons:

Where Do I Go from Here?

If you recently missed your period, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed by your current situation and fearful of a possible pregnancy. Take a deep breath and choose not to rush. Time is in your favor. Should your period be late because of a surprise pregnancy, you probably still have many weeks to make a decision.

Perhaps you have been trying to block out any concerns associated with a possible pregnancy. Can you think of someone to confide in? Your lived experience matters because your life matters. Get the support and care you need to make an informed decision based on what you truly want.

We are here to support you. If your pregnancy is confirmed, allow us to be your sounding board as you discover the right path for you. You've got this!

Wondering whether to have an abortion or keep the baby? Would you like to receive a daily email for seven days with tips and experiences to help you decide? Sign up for Decision Coaching here.

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