Medical Abortion

Your Journey – Taking the pills

The medication

A medical abortion involves taking two different medications 24-hours apart – Mifepristone and Misoprostol. This medication will be in your abortion pack which you will collect from one of our clinics.

Preparing to take your pills

We recommend you plan the days and times that work best for you to take your pills. Our nurse will help you figure this out.

Stock up on sanitary pads, snacks (your preferred treat), a book, movies, or whatever you like to do to pass time. Make sure you have a comfortable space on the day you take the second lot of pills.

If you would like to invite someone on your journey, arrange for someone you feel comfortable with to support you as you need. They may be with you throughout to hold your hand, or be a text or phone call away.

Once you have taken the first pill (Mifepristone), you can continue your day as usual. But for the following day, when you take the second pills (Misoprostol), you will need to plan for you to have time and space for yourself. Take the day off from school, work, or any other commitments you may have.

Taking the pills

The first pill to take is called Mifepristone. Swallow this with a large glass of water. Mifepristone works by blocking your body’s production of progesterone – the hormone that is needed for the pregnancy to continue growing. Once you have taken the pill, you may either experience a few mild cramps and light bleeding or feel as if nothing changed. It is okay to continue about your day as normal.

The second medication is called Misoprostol. These are to be taken 24 hours after the first pill. Place the four tablets between your cheeks and gums and let them slowly dissolve. Sometimes, the pills don’t fully dissolve, so after an hour you can swallow what remains of the pills with a glass of water.

Misoprostol causes the miscarriage to begin. You will experience cramps and bleeding. This is your body emptying your uterus. It is like having a very heavy, crampy period. A period where you want to curl up into a little ball somewhere cosy.

What you experience is the same as a natural miscarriage. The Misoprostol triggers the uterus to contract, then your body naturally continues the process.

What to expect – Once you have taken the pills

After taking the Mifepristone - the first pill

Once you take Mifepristone, you may experience light bleeding and a few mild cramps, or feel normal. It is okay to continue about your day.

After taking the Misoprostol - the second lot of pills

The Misoprostol causes the miscarriage to begin. This usually happens within 1-6 hours of taking it. You will experience cramps and bleeding. This is your body emptying your uterus. It is like having a very heavy, crampy period. A period where you want to lie somewhere comfortable with a hottie on your tummy. Make the space and time you need to take it easy.


It is normal to experience significant cramping, discomfort, and aches in your belly. The cramps may be constant, come and go in waves, or stop and start. A medical abortion is different for everyone. Everyone experiences different levels of cramping and discomfort.

Cramping tends to build up until you have passed the pregnancy tissue, then they tend to ease off. The amount of cramping and discomfort is the same feeling as a natural miscarriage.

If you are concerned about your level of cramping, or how long it has been going on, you can always call us.


It is normal to bleed. You may pass pieces of tissue and blood clots of varying sizes. Gushes of fresh blood are also common. Everyone experiences a different level of bleeding.

During this time, use pads, not tampons or a moon cup. This will help avoid infection. When bleeding is at its peak, many people tend to sit on the toilet instead of constantly changing their pad. Once the pregnancy tissue has passed, the bleeding will start to lighten.

If you are concerned about the amount of bleeding or how long it has been going on, you can always call us.

Other things you may experience

After taking the Misoprostol, it is normal to feel nauseous and have diarrhoea (just like period poos).
Hot sweats and flushes
Light headedness
A headache
Lower back pain
You may experience none, all, or a combination of these symptoms as your uterus works hard to release the pregnancy tissue.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you can always call us.

How to ease the cramps and discomfort

We will provide you with medication to help with the cramping and discomfort. Instructions on how and to take the medication are included in your abortion pack.

To help with the discomfort, you can also:

  1. Put a hot water bottle or heat pack on your lower belly or back

  2. Have someone gently rub your back

  3. Put a blanket over your shoulders

  4. Take a warm shower

  5. Wear comfy clothes

  6. Focus on your breathing

  7. Sit on the toilet

  8. Stay in a relaxing and familiar space

Choose what is best for you.

Passing the pregnancy tissue

The pregnancy will usually pass within 1-6 hours of taking the Misoprostol (the second medication). Your level of cramping and discomfort will significantly build and peak when the pregnancy tissue is about to pass. Once the tissue has passed your cramps should begin to ease. The toilet is a great place to sit when your cramps are at their strongest.

What might I see?

The pregnancy tissue will usually look like a large clot. It can be very hard to see the pregnancy if it is earlier than 7 weeks.

What should I do with the pregnancy tissue?

What you decide to do with the pregnancy tissue is your choice. If you would like to keep the pregnancy tissue and bury it you may. Place the pregnancy tissue into a little container or cloth. Bury this somewhere that is special to you. If you are sitting on the toilet when the pregnancy passes and you do not wish to keep it, it is okay to flush it through. If the tissue passes onto your pad, it is okay to place it in the bin.  

Ready to take the next step in your journey?

Reach out online or call 0800 226 784 to speak to one of our nurses. We are here to support you every step of the way. This is your journey.

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