Side Effects and Complications of Abortion Pills

For some women, cramping is very strong – much more painful than menstrual cramps (if you have menstrual cramps) and the bleeding is much heavier than a menstrual period. You might pass blood clots up to the size of lemons in the first few hours after taking misoprostol. For other women, cramping is mild and bleeding is like a normal menstrual period.

Seek medical care if you don’t bleed or have little bleeding followed by severe pain (particularly in the right shoulder) that is not relieved by ibuprofen. This can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that is located outside of the uterus). While this is rare, it can be life threatening. You can also contact our friends at to speak to a trained abortion counselor if you are concerned that the abortion was not successful.

Seek medical care if you soak through 2 regular pads per hour for 2 hours in a row after you think you have passed the pregnancy. Soaking through means that the pad is saturated with blood front-to-back, side-to-side, and through-and-through.

Take 3-4 pills (200 mg) every 6-8 hours to help alleviate your pain. Remember that you can also take ibuprofen before using misoprostol, too.

After the misoprostol has dissolved, you can eat as you like. Dry food (e.g. crackers or toast) may help with the nausea, while green leafy vegetables, eggs, and red meat can help recover the minerals lost during the abortion.

After the misoprostol has dissolved, you can drink any liquid you like (except alcohol).

Alcohol should be avoided during the treatment to avoid affecting the efficiency of the medication. Alcohol may also cause increased uterine bleeding in some cases and decrease the effectiveness of other medicines taken to reduce pain or infection (for women dealing with complications). In general, it is recommended to avoid alcohol until you confirm the abortion is complete and you are feeling in good health.

Most women will pass the pregnancy within about 4 – 5 hours and feel better in less than 24 hours. It is normal to continue to see light bleeding and spotting until your next period in about 3 – 4 weeks.

It is normal to feel sick to your stomach, have diarrhea, chills, or even feel like you have a fever during this time. Most women report they know when they have passed the pregnancy because the bleeding slows down, and they start to feel much better.

Some women may need to have a surgical procedure if they’re still pregnant after taking the pills. Remember! Treatment for an incomplete abortion is widely available around the world. You have the right to this service, even if abortion is legally restricted in your country.

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