Kali Siestra first learned about menstrual regulation while working on the border between Myanmar and Thailand. At the time, abortion was widely criminalized in both countries. But even if you missed your period, it was relatively easy to get drugs to induce it in just a few days. In Bangladesh, where abortion is largely illegal, menstrual control is possible up to 10 weeks after a missed period, and public health advocates regularly tout it as a promising way to reduce maternal mortality and unsafe abortion rates. is being talked about.
Menstrual regulation is not completely unknown in the United States.Melissa Grant, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder carafemrecalls friends who got their periods back through manual vacuum aspiration in the 1980s, when early pregnancy tests weren’t that common. But menstruation hasn’t been a popular option in recent years, and for a while, Siestra wasn’t sure there was room to regulate it in the United States.
But as abortion becomes increasingly stigmatized and criminalized across America, they are working with other advocates to raise awareness about this new form of fertility control that exists between emergency contraception and abortion. ing.as the director of Menstrual Cycle Medicine Project, Siestra has worked to make menstrual control, or what they call missed period pills, available in all 50 states. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about this less-discussed form of birth control.
What are the menstrual pain medicines I forgot to take?
The pills are mifepristone and misoprostol, the same FDA-approved drugs used for abortions. The first pill, mifepristone, blocks progesterone and prevents a potential pregnancy from developing further. Misoprostol is taken after her 24 hours to initiate uterine contractions and empty the uterine contents. Misoprostol induces bleeding and restarts your period, whether you are pregnant or not.
Who is it for?
People whose periods are late and want to get them back without the hassle of pregnancy tests or ultrasounds. In some cases, this includes people who feel more comfortable with a missed period pill than an abortion. But some people know they don’t want to get pregnant and don’t want to go through the trouble or wait several weeks before getting an abortion. Michelle Gomez, a family medicine physician who has been providing menstrual medicine at Family Care Associates in Burlingame, Calif., since May 2022, says menstrual medicine patients tend to be younger, and one reason for this is: “They have very regular periods.” . When I was a child, we didn’t have period management apps, but this generation does. They know when they’re going to be late and just don’t want to wait around,” she says.
There is also reason to believe that missed period pills would become a very popular option if they were widely available. the study carried out by Ginuity Health Project We found that 42% of people who visited a doctor’s office seeking a pregnancy test were interested in missing a pill on the day their period was due. A whopping 70% of respondents said that they would be unhappy if they got pregnant.
Do I need an ultrasound and a positive pregnancy test?
no! Although many abortion providers require these steps before dispensing abortion pills, studies have shown that the drugs can be safely taken without an ultrasound or positive pregnancy test.
Are there any risks?
For ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies where the egg implants in the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus), forgetting to take period pills will not help. Although ectopic pregnancies are very rare, they are extremely dangerous and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent potential complications. Reagan McDonald Mosley, CEO power to decide Practicing gynecologists say that if there is no bleeding after 2 days after taking the tablets, it may mean an ectopic pregnancy. Another sign is pain in the pelvic area. (Your doctor can help you understand the difference between normal cramps and pain that may be due to an ectopic pregnancy.)
It is also possible that the medicine will no longer work. Siestra recommends waiting 4 to 5 days after your missed period for best results. If you’re not sure if your medication is working or if you still feel pregnant after taking your medication, you can always seek follow-up care. Gomez also recommends taking an at-home pregnancy test four to five weeks after taking the medication to ensure the pregnancy is not continuing.
What about legal risks?
If you live in a state where abortion is legal, you should be fine. Doctors have the right to prescribe any medicine they see fit, and menstrual control is a perfectly appropriate use of mifepristone and misoprostol.
Things get even more complicated if you live in a state where abortion is illegal. In many states, laws known as “shield laws” protect health care providers who want to serve patients in areas where abortion is a crime. Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and Washington also have special protections for telehealth providers. A company that ships abortion pills to anti-abortion countries. So you could have forgotten to take your period medication in all 50 states.
However, legal issues may still arise. For now, forgetting to take period pills is a legal gray area, and it’s unclear whether anti-abortion countries will pursue the issue. If you have a legal question or could face criminal penalties for forgetting to take your period medication, if when and how You can always help.
Isn’t this just an abortion?
Yes and no. Missed period pills are taken without confirmation of pregnancy, and in some cases before it is known whether or not you are pregnant, so there is no way to know if you are actually terminating the pregnancy. The pregnancy may have been terminated early. It’s also possible that you’re simply trying to get your period back after it’s been missed for some other reason.
In a way, forgetting to take period pills is a return to the way you used to think about pregnancy. Siestra points out that in many cultures, early pregnancy is seen as rare and unproven, and rightly so. A significant number of pregnancies found not to be viable. Embracing the gray area of missing a period pill allows for a more nuanced understanding of the complexities of pregnancy, and a more reassuring view of fertility for people who grew up with abortion as stigmatized. Management methods may also be provided.
How much does this cost?
Depending on the provider, the typical range is about $150 to $250, which is the same as a pill abortion. Depending on your insurance, you may not have to pay the full amount out-of-pocket and funding is available for those who need financial assistance. Plan C is also working with Indian pharmacies to offer a more affordable option, offering a kit containing mifepristone, misoprostol, and ibuprofen, all for just $25.
Where can I get the missed period medication?
The Period Pills Project has the following list: Providers in all 50 states. In some cases, your provider will pre-offer and send you the pills before your period is late, so you’ll have it ready in case you need it.