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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Medical abortion or abortion pills

Medical abortion or abortion pills

Medical abortion is a form of abortion caused by using two medications. It is ideal option for women who are 8 weeks or less than 8 weeks pregnant. In this method there will be use of 2 drugs called Mifepristone and Misoprostol

During the first appointment at the clinic the mifepristone pill is given orally. Then 24 to 72 hours later, the second medication, misoprostol is given. Misoprostol causes contractions resulting in a miscarriage. When used in combination, mifepristone and misoprostol are 95-97% effective within two weeks.

The pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound scan. If the pregnancy is less than 8week, medical abortion is advised. After taking medical history and getting physical examination done, the first tablet mifepristone is given orally.


After 24 to 72 hours the second medication misoprostol is to be taken. After taking mifepristone there will be bleeding. Bleeding varies from woman to woman, there may be light to heavy bleeding. Some will not have bleeding until taking the other drug misoprostol.


After taking the second medication misoprostol, there will be cramps, bleeding, clotting with in 20minutes. Within 6 to 8 hours the miscarriage will occur. Cramping will be increasing or decreasing in intensity. The bleeding maybe heavier than menstrual periods. In this time the embryo will also be passed.

Once the abortion is completed the bleeding can be present for about 7-14 days.


Follow-up examination is scheduled for 2 weeks to make sure the abortion is complete. Rarely some woman will not pass the products of conception and may need a suction to complete the process of abortion.

Adverse effects of the medication:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy cramping

Who can undergo medical abortion?

Abortion Medication may be an option if you:


  • Are less than 8 weeks since your last menstrual period.
  • Are willing and able to give informed consent.
  • Have the support you need such as access to reliable transportation and ability to communicate with the clinic by  telephone.
  • Live no more than 2 hours away from emergency medical care (a hospital).
  • Are able to come back to the clinic for 1 to 3 follow-up appointments.
  • Agree to have a surgical abortion if the misoprostol does not induce termination.


Contraindications for medical abortion



Another option may be a chemical or medical abortion using Methotrexate.


  • Have had a blood clotting problem or are taking anticoagulant medicine.
  • Have severe anemia.
  • Have adrenal failure.
  • Are taking long-term systemic corticosteroids.
  • May have an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Have a mass in the tubes or ovaries.
  • Have inherited porphyria.
  • Have an allergy to mifepristone, misoprostol or other prostaglandin medicine.
  • Have severe diarrhea.

Another option may be a chemical or medical abortion using Methotrexate.