Abortion Pill - How does it Work?

Abortion Pill – How does it Work?


If you think you might be pregnant, and you’re looking for information on your options, abortion may be something you’re considering. The first thing you need to do is take a pregnancy test. Click here to find a center near you where you can get a free pregnancy test.

We’re here for you 24/7/365 to talk about all your options at 0791653574 or the chat option here. All calls and chats are confidential. 

Before taking the abortion pill, it is important to ask the right questions. This is a big decision and you deserve to have all the information.


The abortion pill — also referred to as medication abortion, chemical abortion, RU-486 or self-managed abortion — is usually used to reference the medications mifepristone and misoprostol taken to terminate the pregnancy of a developing baby within the first 10 weeks. It is NOT the morning-after pill. Currently, about 40% of all abortions in the U.S. occur through the abortion pill. 

The first pill, mifepristone, is prescribed by a doctor within the first seven to ten weeks of pregnancy and is given at the office visit. This drug blocks the effects of progesterone — a natural hormone that women produce that provides the essential nutrients needed for the developing baby to thrive.  The second drug, misoprostol, is taken at home 6-48 hours later and causes cramping and bleeding in order to empty the uterus. 

An abortion can be reversed after taking mifepristone and before misoprostol.

The chemical abortion can not be reversed after taking misoprostol. 

The Abortion Pill Process

The 1st Pill – Mifepristone

  • A doctor will give a woman considering chemical abortion a physical exam to determine if she is eligible for this type of chemical abortion procedure. Not all women are eligible. 
  • She may be given antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • She will be given an oral dose of mifepristone during her first office visit.

The 2nd Pill – Misoprostol

  • Misoprostol tablets are taken orally or inserted vaginally about 6 to 48 hours after taking the mifepristone. The tablets cause contractions and expel the remains of the baby. This process may take a few hours or as long as a few days.
  • The woman will need to be examined by her doctor two weeks later to ensure the abortion was complete and to check for complications.

The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 5-10% of the time with the potential of requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.

All women considering chemical abortion should be informed about the side effects and risks of mifepristone and misoprostol.


Mifepristone (RU-486) is a very strong drug and you may experience side effects after taking it. Side effects vary from person to person and no two women’s experiences are alike.

Here is a list of potential side effects you may experience after taking the Abortion Pill.

Common side effects of Mifepristone Oral (RU-486)

SevereLess Severe
Uterine CrampsHigh Blood Pressure
Bleeding Not Related to Menstrual PeriodOvergrowth of the Uterine Lining
BackacheJoint Pain
Stomach CrampsDizziness
Low Amount of Potassium in the BloodLow Energy
 Fluid Retention in the Legs, Feet, Arms or Hands
 Loss of Appetite
 Head Pain
 Throwing Up

Infrequent side effects of Mifepristone Oral

SevereLess Severe
ChillsInflammation or Infection of Vagina
 Chronic Trouble Sleeping

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