How To Use The Abortion Pill

There are two types of medications used for abortion: mifepristone and misoprostol. An abortion with pills works better if both of these medications are taken together. However, if mifepristone is not available, misoprostol alone will also work to end a pregnancy and is still safe.

Choose if you'd like to learn about instructions for a safe abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol or misoprostol alone.

How to Use

Before starting, read over our advice on Before Using The Pill. Be sure:

Instructions For Abortion With Mifepristone and Misoprostol

For an abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol, you will need to take one 200mg pill of mifepristone and four to eight 200mcg pills of misoprostol. You’ll also want to have a painkiller on hand, like ibuprofen, to help manage pain. Acetaminophen and paracetamol do not work for pain during an abortion so they are not recommended.

Here’s how mifepristone and misoprostol are taken together to end a pregnancy:

Step 1:

Swallow one 200mg pill of mifepristone with water.

Step 2:

Wait 24-48 hours.

Step 3:

Place 4 misoprostol pills (200 mcg each) under your tongue and hold them there for 30 minutes as they dissolve. You should not speak or eat for these 30 minutes, so it is good to be someplace quiet where you will not be disturbed. After 30 minutes, drink some water and swallow everything that is left of the pills. This is also a good time to take a painkiller like ibuprofen, as the cramping will start soon.

You should begin bleeding and cramping within 3 hours of using the 4 misoprostol pills.

Step 4:

24 hours after taking the 4 misoprostol pills, if you didn’t start to bleed, or if you are unsure that the abortion worked, place 4 more pills of misoprostol under your tongue. Hold them there for 30 minutes as they dissolve. After 30 minutes, drink some water and swallow everything that is left of the pills.

Other Considerations For An Abortion With Mifepristone And Misoprostol:

Learn what to expect after taking mifepristone and misoprostol here.

If you experience bad cramping, ibuprofen is a good medicine to cope with pain. You can buy ibuprofen 200 mg strength over the counter (without a prescription) in most countries. Take 3-4 pills (200 mg each) every 6-8 hours. If you need something extra for pain relief, you can also use 2 pills of Tylenol (325 mg) every 6-8 hours.

If you are concerned about the abortion process and would like additional support, you can reach out to our friends at www.safe2choose.org, www.womenhelp.org or www.womenonweb.org.

If you used the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol, you probably do not need to visit a health care provider for a follow-up visit. These medicines are so effective that the World Health Organization recommends that you need to have a follow-up only if:

  • You feel sick, or your pain is not getting better after 2 or 3 days. If this occurs, seek medical attention right away.
  • You still feel pregnancy symptoms two weeks after taking the abortion pills.
  • Your bleeding is heavy and not getting lighter after 2 weeks.

Instructions For Abortion With Misoprostol Only

Before starting, read over our advice on Before Using The Pill. Be sure:

If mifepristone is not available in your setting, you can use misoprostol alone to end a pregnancy.

For an abortion with only misoprostol, you will need to take twelve 200mcg pills of misoprostol. You’ll also want to have a painkiller on hand, like ibuprofen, to help manage pain. Acetaminophen and paracetamol do not work to manage pain during an abortion so they are not recommended.

Here’s how misoprostol alone is used to end a pregnancy:

Step 1:

Place 4 misoprostol pills (200 mcg each) under your tongue and hold them there for 30 minutes as they dissolve. You should not speak or eat for these 30 minutes, so it is good to be someplace quiet where you will not be disturbed. After 30 minutes, drink some water and swallow everything that is left of the pills. This is also a good time to take a painkiller like ibuprofen, as the cramping will start soon.

Step 2:

Wait 3 hours.

Step 3:

Place another 4 misoprostol pills (200mcg) under your tongue and hold them there for 30 minutes until they dissolve

Step 4:

Wait another 3 hours.

Step 5:

Place another 4 misoprostol pills (200mcg) under your tongue and hold them there for 30 minutes until they dissolve.

You should begin bleeding and cramping while taking the pills. Make sure to take all 12 pills even if you start to bleed before you’ve taken all of them.

Other Considerations For An Abortion With Misoprostol:

Learn what to expect after taking misoprostol here.

If you experience bad cramping, ibuprofen is a good medicine to cope with pain. You can buy ibuprofen 200 mg strength over the counter (without a prescription) in most countries. Take 3-4 pills (200 mg each) every 6-8 hours. If you need something extra for pain relief, you can also use 2 pills of Tylenol (325 mg) every 6-8 hours.

If you are concerned about the abortion process and would like additional support, you can reach out to our friends at www.safe2choose.org, www.womenhelp.org or www.womenonweb.org.

If you used misoprostol, you probably do not need to visit a health care provider for a follow-up visit. These medicines are so effective that the World Health Organization recommends that you need to have a follow-up only if:

  • You feel sick, or your pain is not getting better after 2 or 3 days. If this occurs, seek medical attention right away.
  • You still feel pregnancy symptoms two weeks after taking the abortion pills.
  • Your bleeding is heavy and not getting lighter after 2 weeks.

Authors:

  • All content featured on this website is written by the HowToUseAbortionPill.org team in compliance with standards and protocols from The National Abortion Federation, Ipas, the World Health Organization, DKT International and carafem.
  • The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in North America, and a leader in the pro-choice movement. Content on HowToUseAbortionPill.org is aligned with the 2020 Clinical Policy Guidelines released by NAF.
  • Ipas is the only international organization solely focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care. Content on HowToUseAbortionPill.org is aligned with the Clinical Updates In Reproductive Health 2019 released by Ipas.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. Content on HowToUseAbortionPill.org is aligned with the 2012 Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems released by WHO.
  • DKT International is a registered, non-profit organization founded in 1989 to focus the power of social marketing on some of the largest countries with the greatest needs for family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and safe abortion.
  • carafem is a clinic network providing convenient and professional abortion care and family planning so people can control the number and spacing of their children.

References:

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