What are the possible side effects of a medical abortion?

What are the possible side effects of a medical abortion? bleeding and cramping are a normal part of the process and show that the medicines are working. Cramps generally
last a few days. Bleeding is heavier at first, but some bleeding or spotting may continue for as long as 12 days. A woman may also have some nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea on the days that she takes the medicines.
Occasionally some women will also have headaches, dizziness, chills, or fever. These symptoms usually last a short time; you can take medicine for pain and nausea,

Abortion in South Africa

Abortion in South Africa is legal in South Africa. Yet most women do not know where to access safe abortion services, how to obtain information about abortion facilities in South Africa, or that they are legally entitled to a free abortion in the public health care facilities. The SRJC, together with partners and allies, has put together this pamphlet to ensure that you have basic information on your right to access safe and legal abortion, as well as to help you assess whether abortion providers you see advertised are legal and safe or not.

Know your rights about abortions

The decision to have children is part of the women’s access to reproductive health care services. This also includes contraception, termination of pregnancy, as well as sexuality education and counseling programs and services.
Women and girls have the right to be informed of and to have access to safe, effective, affordable, and acceptable methods of fertility regulation of their choice.

What happens during a medical abortion? 

When a woman comes to the clinic, the doctor or nurse will explain the process and answer any questions that they
have. After the woman’s medical history has been reviewed, and she has been examined, a pregnancy test will be done. If indicated, an ultrasound may be done, but not in all instances. After this, the first medicine will be given and swallowed at the clinic. The woman may experience some cramps and bleeding in the days after taking the first medicine, but very few women will have a complete abortion before taking the second medicine.

Step 2: As instructed, a day late – at home

The woman will swallow or place the tablets under her tongue or to the side of her cheek in her mouth – 2 to 4 tablets
of the second medicine at home, usually in the morning before having anything to eat or drink. Within 2 hours, she can have breakfast and something to drink. Taking pain medication is advisable as she will start to have strong cramps and bleeding, which can be heavier than an ordinary period. The woman should expect to bleed or spot for
about 2 weeks after taking the tablets, and she may see blood clots and tissue coming from the uterus. This is an expected part of ending the pregnancy. The heaviest bleeding will happen while the abortion occurs, usually within the first 6 hours after taking the second tablet.

Step 3: 10 – 14 days later, follow-up visit to the clinic

The medicine causes bleeding and cramping symptoms meaning that the treatment is working. Sometimes women can get cramping and bleeding and still be pregnant. This is why it is very important to return to the clinic
10 – 14 days after taking the first medicine to ensure that the pregnancy has ended. If you are still pregnant after taking the medicine, you must have a surgical procedure to complete the abortion

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