The abortion pill is available at our clinics for pregnancies up to nine weeks. The abortion pill (a medical abortion) is in fact two separate medications that first terminate and then pass the pregnancy. The doctor in our clinic will determine whether this treatment is right for you. The abortion pill treatment consists of two steps.
Step 1, at the clinic
During your clinic appointment, you will take the first pill. This first medication, named Mifegyne, ends the pregnancy. Before you take this pill, you have to be absolutely sure of your choice. Once you have taken Mifegyne, the process can not be undone. You are not allowed to take the Mifegyne home with you; you have to take it at the clinic.
Step 2, at home
You will receive four pills of Misoprostol to take home with you. At home, you vaginally insert the pills. The insertion should take place 24 hours at the earliest and 72 hours at the latest after taking the first pill at the clinic. After inserting the pills, you need to lie down for half an hour.
Passing the pregnancy
After insertion of Misoprostol, the passing of the pregnancy usually starts after 1 to 2 hours. This can go on for a long time, sometimes up to 24 hours. Misoprostol makes the womb contract. This causes pain and (heavy) bleeding.
Both bleeding and pain usually go on for longer and are more severe than with normal menstruation. It is therefore best to take a painkiller immediately following insertion of the vaginal pills. Some women also experience diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or chills.
For some women, the abortion pill is a painful and emotional treatment. You should always have an adult present, someone who knows about the abortion and who can take care of you. The day you insert the pills, should be free of work or any other obligations. Make sure you have sufficient painkillers at hand, preferably Ibuprofen or Aleve, also in suppository form in case you feel nauseous and need to throw up.
After the treatment
After the abortion pill treatment you will experience cramping and bleeding. The symptoms can last from a few days up to several weeks and will gradually diminish. Pregnancy symptoms diminish after a week. If symptoms persist or if you have a fever or are unwell, please contact us.
It sometimes happens that the pregnancy is not terminated after the abortion. With the abortion pill this is 1 - 4%, with other abortion methods this is 1 - 2 %. If this happens, we need to perform a (second) suction curettage.
There is also a slight risk of persistent bleeding or severe discharge. This usually occurs when there is some organic tissue left in the uterus after the abortion. If the tissue is not passed naturally, a follow-up treatment is needed to remove these last bits of tissue.
Our clinic has a partnership agreement with a nearby hospital, where medical support can be provided, if necessary.
The risk of complications with the abortion pill is slim. The main complication is bleeding without actual termination of the pregnancy. That is why there is a follow-up 4 weeks after the termination. After 4 weeks, you can also take a pregnancy test yourself
For some women, the abortion pill is a painful and emotional experience. The abortion pill causes abdominal cramps that can last for hours. These abdominal cramps are comparable to severe menstrual cramps. Other possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, chills and diarrhoea. In combination with (sometimes heavy) bleeding, the amniotic sac is being rejected by the body.
How long does the pain last?
In the beginning, the pain can be severe and bleeding can continue for two weeks, comparable to menstrual bleeding. Make sure you have stocked up on painkillers, e.g. Ibuprofen or Aleve, also in suppository form in case you feel nauseous and won’t be able to keep the painkillers in your stomach due to vomiting.
Is it normal to develop a fever when taking the abortion pill?
A slight temperature is normal. If your temperature is over 38.5 C, please contact us.
There is a remote chance (1-4%) that the abortion pill will not work effectively and the pregnancy has not ended. This means you would still need suction curettage. There is a minor risk of infection.
Usually most bleeding is expected after 4 to 7 days and can be more severe and last longer than during menstruation. You can also pass clots of blood. The bleeding often ends with brownish discharge.
Normal symptoms in the first days after the abortion:
- Bleeding and cramping
- Abdominal pain or backache
- Slight temperature
- Emotional instability
- Diarrhoea or nausea caused by the antibiotics
Any additional pregnancy symptoms usually disappear within 2 to 14 days. Because your body still contains pregnancy hormones, a pregnancy test may be positive up to 3 weeks after the abortion.
It’s advisable to take a pregnancy test 3 to 4 weeks after the abortion. If the test is (weakly) positive, you still feel pregnant, or have other symptoms, please contact us.
The chance of developing an infection is remote, but if you feel unwell and have a fever (over 38.5°C) that lasts longer than a day and abdominal pain, this could mean you have an infection. In that case, please contact us as soon as possible.