Types of Abortion Pills and Their Use


How do abortion pills work?

There are two types of abortion pills, and each has a different mechanism of action. Mifepristone blocks the hormone needed for a pregnancy to grow, while the ingredients used in misoprostol work by relaxing and opening the cervix (the opening to the uterus) and causing the uterus to contract, which pushes out the pregnancy.

What does misoprostol do?

Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy.

What does mifepristone do?

Mifepristone blocks the hormone needed for a pregnancy to grow.

Can I use misoprostol at home?

Yes, you can use misoprostol safely at home. When you take misoprostol pills, try to make sure that you’re in an area (like your home) where you have privacy and can lay down for a few hours after you take the pills. Having someone with you who can look after you and bring you hot tea or something to eat can be very helpful.

Can I drink water after taking misoprostol?

Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes while you allow the misoprostol to dissolve. After 30 minutes have passed, you can drink water to swallow the remnants of the pills and, in general, as much water as you need to feel hydrated.

Can I drink water after taking mifepristone?

Yes, you can drink water to help you swallow the mifepristone.

Should I take misoprostol sublingually or vaginally?

There are two ways to use misoprostol: placing the pills in your vagina or under your tongue (sublingually). HowToUse suggests that you only use misoprostol under your tongue because it is more private (the pills dissolve faster and do not leave visible traces in your body) and has less risk of infection.

What is the difference between taking misoprostol only and taking both mifepristone and misoprostol?

Both the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol and misoprostol-only are effective options. However, if available and affordable to you, the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol should be your preferred choice.

How effective is misoprostol and how effective is misoprostol + mifepristone?

98 women in 100 will have a complete abortion if mifepristone and misoprostol are used. About 95 women in 100 will have a complete abortion if only misoprostol is used.

Why do I need to take more misoprostol if I take mifepristone first?

Mifepristone and misoprostol are used together because the pills complement each other. The medicine used in misoprostol works by relaxing and opening the cervix (the opening to the uterus) and causing the uterus to contract, which pushes out the pregnancy.

Will anybody know that I had an abortion using the abortion pill?

If you use misoprostol pills under your tongue, no one will be able to tell you used abortion pills, as you will swallow everything after 30 minutes. If someone asks, you can say you had a natural miscarriage. If you use misoprostol vaginally, the coating of the pill may not dissolve completely for a day or two. If you need to seek urgent medical care within 48 hours since you used misoprostol vaginally, the healthcare provider may see the white coating of the pill in your vagina. This is why HowToUse suggests using misoprostol under your tongue and not inside your vagina.

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