What to expect during and after a medication abortion

What to expect during and after a medication abortion

What to expect during and after a medication abortion, After taking the second medication abortion tablet at home, you may experience the following:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache and fever
  • pain – usually within half an hour and generally much stronger than period pain
  • bleeding one to four hours later – heavier than a period and there may be large clots
  • After two to six hours, the bleeding usually settles to the level of your normal period
  • Bleeding is usually similar to a normal period for another three to seven days
  • Unpredictable, irregular, or prolonged bleeding can last for up to four weeks after a medication abortion.

How will I feel emotionally after a medication abortion?

After having an abortion, most women feel relief, and that they made the decision that was right for them at the time – particularly if they had support, and were able to make a free and informed decision.

If the decision was difficult for you, you may feel sadness or have other negative feelings, especially in the short term.

If you feel you need emotional support, speak to your abortion provider or GP.

Typical side effects of medication abortion

Typical and frequently occurring side effects of medication abortion include:

  • pain from uterine cramping
  • unpredictable, irregular, or prolonged bleeding.

Contact your doctor if any of these side effects are worrying you or if you need medical advice.

Advantages and disadvantages of medication abortion

Advantages of medication abortion include:

  • For around 95 to 98 percent of pregnancies up to nine weeks, no further treatment is needed after taking the two doses of abortion medication.
  • Unlike surgical abortion, medication abortion does not need to take place in a hospital or day surgery unit as it does not require a surgeon, anesthetist, or other medical staff to be present during the later stage of the procedure. This makes it a suitable alternative for those living in remote areas, provided they have access to emergency care.
  • It is a less clinical and non-surgical procedure, which some women may prefer.
  • Some women feel it is a more natural process.
  • It happens in a home environment.
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