What happens when we take abortion pills?
Abortion pill process has several steps and includes two different medicines.
First, you take a pill called mifepristone. This medicine stops the pregnancy from growing. Some people feel nauseous or start bleeding after taking mifepristone, but it’s not common. Your doctor or nurse may also give you antibiotics to take to prevent infection.
The second medicine is called misoprostol. You’ll either take the misoprostol right away or up to 48 hours after you take the first pill — your doctor or nurse will let you know how and when to take it. This medicine causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus.
For most people, the cramping and bleeding usually start 1-4 hours after taking the misoprostol. It’s normal to see large blood clots (up to the size of a lemon) or clumps of tissue when this is happening. It’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is very similar to an early miscarriage. (If you don’t have any bleeding within 24 hours after taking the second medicine, misoprostol, call your nurse or doctor.)
The cramping and bleeding can last for several hours. Most people finish passing the pregnancy tissue in 4-5 hours, but it may take longer. The cramping and bleeding slow down after the pregnancy tissue comes out. You may have cramping on and off for 1 or 2 more days.
You can take pain medicine like ibuprofen about 30 minutes before you take the second medicine, misoprostol, to help with cramps. You can also take anti-nausea medicine if your doctor or nurse gives it to you. Don’t take aspirin, because it can make you bleed more.
It’s normal to have some bleeding and spotting for several weeks after your abortion. You can use pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup — whatever's the most comfortable for you. But your nurse or doctor may recommend you use pads for the first few days after the abortion so you can track how much you're bleeding.
The last step is a follow-up with your nurse or doctor. You may go back to the health center for an ultrasound or blood test. Or you’ll get a pregnancy test to take at home, followed by a phone call with your nurse or doctor. These tests will make sure the abortion worked and that you’re healthy.
In the unlikely case that the abortion doesn't work and you're still pregnant, your doctor or nurse will discuss your options with you. You may need another dose of medication or to have an in-clinic procedure to complete the abortion.
What should I do before taking abortion pills?
Before you start taking abortion drugs, meet with your nurse, doctor, or health center staff to discuss whether having an abortion is the right decision for you and your abortion options. Tests, laboratory tests, and sometimes ultrasonography are done to find out how advanced the pregnancy is.
Your nurse or doctor will let you know if you need to do anything else to prepare for the abortion. They will provide written instructions on how to take your pills. You will have access to caring experts throughout the process.
Profuse bleeding and cramping will occur after taking the second dose, so plan to make the process more comfortable. It can be at home or anywhere convenient to rest. You may also need someone you trust (or someone close by) to call if you need anything.
Stock up on things you like to kill time with: maxi pads, groceries, books, movies, and a heating pad for cramps. Be sure to take pain relievers. However, do not take aspirin as it may increase bleeding.
How does a medical abortion feel?
For most people, a medical abortion feels like an early miscarriage. Maybe you have:
- many cramps and pain in the abdomen
- very heavy bleeding with large clots
- Stomach upset and vomiting (your
doctor or nurse can prescribe anti-nausea medications)
- Mild fever (99-100°F) or chills on the day you took misoprostol (If you have a fever after the day you take misoprostol tablets, call your doctor or health center right away.)
To reduce pain and make you more comfortable, you can:
- Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). Do not take aspirin as it can make bleeding worse. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your stomach.
- take a shower.
- sit on the toilet
- Have someone rub your back.
How do you feel after taking abortion pills?
Everyone feels differently during and after a medical abortion. Plan for rest and a comfortable place on the day you take your second dose. You may feel tired for a day or two, but you will soon recover.
When you're ready, you can return to work, school, driving, or other normal activities the next day. However, avoid hard work and strenuous exercise for several days. You should feel better as the day goes on, but if you're still feeling unwell, call your doctor or health center.
Cramping and bleeding should subside within hours to days after the abortion are complete. The breasts become tender and may have a milky discharge. This should stop in a few days. Wearing a tight-fitting bra will make you feel more comfortable.
Chills, fever, or nausea should subside fairly quickly. Call your doctor or health center right away if you have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol (second tablet). It may be a sign of infection.
If you have questions about abortion drug side effects or other concerns, your doctor or health center staff will provide written follow-up instructions and a phone number. Follow your doctor's instructions during and after an abortion.
If necessary, you can have a follow-up visit or phone call with your nurse or doctor to make sure the abortion is complete and you are well.
A person may experience a range of emotions after an abortion. Most people are relieved, but sometimes they feel sad and regretful. This is perfectly normal. If you are not feeling well enough to do what you normally do each day, contact your doctor or nurse for help. You can also call All-Options for free, confidential, and non-judgmental post-abortion emotional support.
How do abortion pills affect your period?
Bleeding and bruising are normal for several weeks after an abortion. You can use sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, or whatever is most comfortable for you. However, your nurse or doctor may recommend using pads for a few days after the abortion to track the amount of blood loss.
When the pregnancy ends, a new menstrual cycle begins, so your period will return to normal 4 to 8 weeks after it ends.
When can contraception be started after a medical abortion?
A new contraceptive method can be started immediately after a medical abortion. It's a good idea to talk to your nurse or doctor about birth control as soon as possible, as you can become pregnant soon after an abortion. Your doctor can help you find the method that's right for you.
What if I have a medical abortion?
In Planned Parenthood, a doctor or nurse will give her two different drugs to use to terminate the pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. Once you receive your medication, you can have the abortion at home or a convenient location of your choice. First, take a pill called Mifepristone. Pregnancy requires a hormone called progesterone for normal growth. Mifepristone blocks the body's progesterone and stops the pregnancy from growing.
If you have been given or asked to take medication for nausea or convulsions, take it 30 minutes before taking misoprostol. Then take the second drug, misoprostol, immediately or up to 48 hours later. There are 4 misoprostol tablets to be taken in one of the following ways:
Take it 24-48 hours after taking Mifepristone.
Place four misoprostol tablets between your cheeks and gums, two on each side of your mouth.
Let it sit for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, swallow the rest of the tablet with water.
Take it 24-48 hours after taking Mifepristone. Place 4 misoprostol tablets under your tongue.
Leave it there for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, swallow the rest of the tablet with water.
Insert 0 to 48 hours after taking mifepristone.
While lying down, put four misoprostol pills into her vagina and push them far enough so they don't fall out.
It remains in place for 30 minutes while it dissolves.
After 30 minutes, you can get up and move. If a fragment comes out of the vagina, it does not need to be reinserted. Some people need a second dose of misoprostol. If the nurse or doctor tells her to take her second dose, take 4 more misoprostol tablets 4 hours later. Misoprostol causes cramps and bleeding that expel the uterus. Call your nurse or doctor if there is no bleeding within 24 hours of taking the second medicine.
The time from taking the first pill to the end of the pregnancy depends on how the drug is taken, from 4 hours for her to 48 hours.
How do I know if the abortion pills have worked?
The effect depends on how advanced the pregnancy is and when the drug is taken.
A pregnancy test or an ultrasound or blood test can confirm that the abortion was successful. Your nurse or doctor will also explain everything you need to know.
Abortion pills usually work, but if they don't, you can take more pills or get an abortion done at a clinic to complete the abortion.
What are the possible risks of taking abortion pills?
Medical abortion has been safely used in the United States for over 20 years. Serious complications are very rare, but can occur. These include:
- Abortion pills don't work, pregnancy won't end
- some of the pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus
- blood clot in uterus
- bleeding too much or for too long
- an allergic reaction to any drug
These issues are not common. And when they do occur, they are usually easily managed with medication and other treatments. In very rare cases, some complications can be very serious or even life-threatening .
Call your doctor or health center immediately if:
- No bleeding within 24 hours of taking the second drug (misoprostol).
- There is profuse genital bleeding, he leaks 2 or more maxi pads in an hour she 2 hours in a row
- Pass large chunks (larger than a lemon) for at least 2 hours
- Stomach pain or cramps that don't get better with painkillers
Do abortion pills have long-term side effects?
Abortion pills are really safe and effective. This is a very popular method of abortion and is safely used by millions of people.
Unless you have untreated rare and serious complications, there is no risk to future pregnancies or overall health. There is none. It will not cause future pregnancy problems such as birth defects, premature or low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or infant death.
Serious and long-lasting emotional problems after abortion are rare, just as rare as after childbirth. It is more likely to occur in people who do not have it or who have a history of mental health problems. Most people feel relieved after an abortion.
There are many myths about the effects of abortion. Your nurse or doctor can give you specific information about the side effects of abortion drugs and other concerns.