• If you are concerned about keeping your abortion as private as possible, use the abortion pills in the sides of your mouth between your teeth and your cheeks instead of vaginally. In the unlikely situation that you have a serious problem and have to seek medical aid, the tablets may still be visible if used in the vagina. In some countries, you could be reported if pills are found in your vagina.
  • How far along in your pregnancy are you? Research indicates that medication abortion is most often recommended for pregnancies prior to 10 weeks since your last menstrual period. Use the pregnancy calculator to determine how far along you are, since your last menstrual period.
    If your last period started on or after:
    April 18th, 2017
    You can still consider the abortion pill.
  • Who can you count on if you need support during the abortion? Who can you trust if you need medical help? In some countries, there are strict cultural and social rules surrounding abortion. It is good to be informed so that if complications arise, you know who you can trust for help.

Before taking the pills:

  • If you have an intrauterine contraceptive device in the uterus (e.g. the coil IUD or the progesterone IUD) you must get it removed.
  • If you are breastfeeding a baby, the misoprostol pills may cause diarrhea in the baby.   To avoid this, breast-feed the baby, take the misoprostol pills and wait 4 hours before you breast-feed again.
  • If you are living with HIV, just make sure you are not getting sicker, you are on anti-retroviral medicines and your health is otherwise good.
  • If you have anemia, it is probably best if you identify a healthcare provider who can help if you need it. If you are very anemic (have low iron in your blood),  using the abortion pills could be dangerous.

General advice:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the whole process.
  • Eat lightly (e.g. crackers or toast may help with the nausea).
  • When you take the misoprostol pills, be in an area (like your home) where you have privacy and can lie down for a few hours after you take the pills if you want.
  • Having someone with you who can bring you hot tea or something to eat and look after you if you like, may be helpful.
  • Make sure you have plenty of menstrual pads. You may use them more quickly than with a normal period.
  • Have a plan in case you need to be taken to a medical facility.