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article on ru 486

Contraceptive Research*Picture: Feminist Majority Foundation*
In addition to its use in terminating unwanted pregnancies, MIFEPRISTONE (formerly known as RU-486) also may be effective in treating a range of serious diseases and medical conditions, many of which particularly affect women.Yet American clinical trials for most of these uses have come to a standstill due to anti-abortion politics.
A B O R T I O N & F E R T I L I T YC O N T R O L
Available to women in many countries (but currently not in the U.S.), mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) is thefirst in a new generation of fertility control agents that can terminate an early pregnancy.Mifepristone works by blocking the action of progesterone, which is necessary to sustain a pregnancy.
Mifepristone, taken along with a prostaglandin, has been used by over half a million women worldwide and has found to be safe and effective as an early abortion method during thefirst nine weeks of a pregnancy.
A woman can take mifepristone as soon as she knows she is pregnant.Mifepristone is administered orally, is non-invasive, requires no anesthesia, and bears less risk of infection.Many women prefer mifepristone because the procedure is more private and allows them greater psychological control in ending a pregnancy.Administered with a single dose of a misoprostol (a prostaglandin given as orally or as a vaginal suppository), mifepristone has been proven to be highly effective in successfully terminating pregnancy.[1]
Studies also show that mifepristone is a safe, effective post-coital contraceptive.[2] [3]Preliminary shows show, as well, that mifepristone can act as both a male and female contraceptive.
[1] Spitz IM, et al.Early pregnancy termination with mifepristone and misoprostol in the United States.New England J of Medicine, 4/30/98.
[2] Baird DT, Dewar M, Glasier A et al.Mifepristone (RU486) compared with high-dose estrogen and progesto…

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