MTP Kit: Uses, Working, Side Effects, And Precautions
What Is An MTP Kit?
An MTP kit is a means to medically terminate an implanted pregnancy. It contains one tablet of mifepristone and four tablets of misoprostol. This article discusses the benefits of the MTP kit, how it works, and what are the possible side effects, and much more.
Currently, there are two kinds of abortion options available for women. One is the infamous surgical abortion. Only a trained medical professional can perform it. The other is a medical abortion or “abortion pill”.
Also Read: Medical Abortion Myths
Medical abortion is a procedure carried out using two pills. They are mifepristone and misoprostol. These drugs can be taken up to 63 days (9 weeks) after the first day of the last menstrual cycle for a successful abortion.
When sold separately, mifepristone comes under two common brand names – Mifeprex and RU486. Misoprostol is available as Cytotec. They come together as a unit in the MTP kit.
Women who wish to abort their fetus medically opt for an MTP kit. The process has to be carried out within 63 days or 9 weeks after the first day of the last period.
Females should not get a medical termination of their pregnancy after week 9. It can lead to unwanted complications like missed abortion, birth defects, excessive bleeding, among others.
The kit includes one pill of mifepristone (200mg) and four pills of misoprostol (200mcg each). They both have different functions that work together for a successful abortion.
The primary function of an MTP kit is to medically terminate a pregnancy. But it also carries some other benefits.
Benefits Of MTP Kit
- Helps with hormonal imbalance
- Helps induce periods
- Helps with excessive blood loss issues
- Induces labor (during a surgical procedure or in case of death of fetus)
- Helps with endometriosis (formation of endometrial tissue outside the uterus)
- Mifepristone helps manage hyperglycemia due to hypercortisolism in patients with Cushing’s syndrome
- Misoprostol helps prevent gastrointestinal ulcers in patients taking NSAIDs
Using MTP Kit
You can buy MTP kit online and use it easily. This is a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
- Step 1. Take the mifepristone tablet on the first day.
- Step 2. Insert all four tablets of misoprostol into your vagina on the third day.
- Step 3. Visit a doctor after 1 to 2 weeks to ensure the termination was successful.
As mentioned above, the MTP kit contains mifepristone and misoprostol. They both need to be administered properly to ensure a safe and effective termination of the pregnancy.
The first tablet you need to take is mifepristone. This tablet performs three important functions:
- Blocks the activity of progesterone in the body
- Softens and dilates the cervix
- Sensitizes the uterus to prostaglandins
Progesterone is a vital hormone in the female body that helps pregnancy to grow. It does so by keeping the uterine wall from breakage.
Hence, since mifepristone inhibits progesterone production, the uterine wall breaks down. This ceases the pregnancy from growing any further.
Mifepristone is a prostaglandin antagonist. It makes the cervix soft and dilates its opening. This results in uterine contractions that facilitate the expulsion of the endometrium from the uterus.
It also makes the uterus more sensitive to prostaglandins. This eases the work of misoprostol.
The pill can be inserted into your vagina, or it can be taken orally as well. However, it works best when taken through the vagina.
Its main function is to release prostaglandins into the uterus to start contractions. These contractions flush out the contents of the uterus, including the pregnancy, thus terminating it whole and whole.
Side-Effects Of MTP Kit
Though there are many benefits of the MTP kit, it also comes with a few side-effects. These can vary in severity and frequency on a subjective basis.
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- Uterine cramping
- Excessive mood changes
- Nausea and fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Sleeping issues
- Digestive issues
- Discomfort, soreness, or tenderness of breasts
These symptoms are usually mild and should not last for more than a few days. However, if you notice any of the following, consult a medical health professional immediately.
- Excessive bleeding (completely saturated 4 large pads within 2 hours)
- High fever and nausea
- Severe cramps with an absence of bleeding
- Absence of bleeding
- Vaginal discharge with a foul odor
Consistent high temperatures (over 100℉) can indicate a uterine infection. It is also possible for women to be allergic to the components of either mifepristone or misoprostol. If you were unaware of this allergy before the treatment, contact a doctor immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms that might indicate an allergic reaction.
To ensure a successful abortion, it is vital to get sonography after the treatment. Lack of bleeding or too much bleeding can be a symptom that your fetus has not been terminated. Consult a doctor to discuss further steps before taking any action yourself.
While using MTP kits, certain circumstances require extra precaution.
1. Ectopic Pregnancy
A woman should not use MTP kits if she has an ectopic pregnancy or even if she suspects one. An ectopic pregnancy is where the fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus.
The drugs in the kit can cause the ectopic pregnancy to rupture which can lead to unwanted severe consequences. Symptoms of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy are similar to those of the side-effects of using an MTP kit.
An ectopic pregnancy might go missed even in an ultrasound; thus, the doctor should do a thorough checkup of the woman before prescribing an MTP kit.
2. Renal And Hepatic Impairment
There is insufficient knowledge about the effects and severity of mifepristone on patients with renal and hepatic impairment. This drug should be avoided by them.
In patients with renal impairment, ideally, there are no dosage adjustments required. However, it can be reduced if the normal dose is not being tolerated.
In patients with hepatic impairment, misoprostol is usually safe. It is metabolized by fatty acid metabolizers present in all the organs throughout the body.
3. Pregnancy And Lactation
If a woman wants to continue her pregnancy, she should not use MTP kits for any purpose. The procedure is irreversible once begun.
It can lead to multiple complications like a miscarriage, incomplete abortion, excessive bleeding, birth defects, among others. Thus, it is important to be sure of one’s decision before starting with the therapy.
4. Driving And Heavy Machinery
Mifepristone and misoprostol can cause dizziness in some cases. It is best to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking them.
Avoid MTP kits under the following conditions:
- You are on steroid therapy
- You are unsure about your pregnancy
- You are on anticoagulants (blood thinners)
- You have bleeding issues
- You do not have access to emergency medical care
- You have adrenal gland issues
- You are a regular smoker or alcoholic
- You have an IUD (intrauterine device)
- You are allergic to the medicines or any of their components
Do not share the medicine (especially misoprostol) with other people. This can heavily affect their chances of getting pregnant in case they were planning to do so. Keep the medicines out of reach from children too.
It is vital to discuss all the risks and benefits of the MTP kit before you start using it. The symptoms of both medicines should usually subside within a few days. Their severity depends on a case-by-case basis.
In case the symptoms seem too severe and refuse to subside, get in contact with a healthcare provider immediately.
December 23, 2020 Sam Bell