• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Mifepristone and Misoprostol: A Detailed Guide Of Abortion Pills

Medical abortion is a way of ending a pregnancy. It is done through abortion pills. Something to remember is that this type of abortion should only be done during the early stages of the pregnancy. Medical abortion using pills like these are is a perfectly healthy and safe way to abort an unwanted pregnancy. The abortion is done by consuming pills like mifepristone and misoprostol.

mifepristone and misoprostol are the two types of medicines that can be taken orally. They act as a non-surgical option to a surgical abortion. If you are planning to terminate your pregnancy, you need to take them continuously for 63 days from the time period of your latest period.

Keep in mind that abortion pills like mifepristone and misoprostol causes you to experience symptoms like bleeding and stomach cramps. These symptoms will last up to several hours. They can be taken anywhere, whether at home, or outside. However, because of the symptoms mentioned above,  it is suggested that you take these medications anywhere where you can rest. The alternative way is to consult a doctor for abortion there are lots of legal abortion clinics around the world like Abortion clinic in Mexico(Clinica de aborto en Mexico), India and all around.

How Does Mifespristone and Misoprostol work?

Mifepristone and misoprostol

An ultrasound and pills, Credit: Canva


These two abortion pills when taken in the order prescribed by your doctor, causes your pregnancy to terminate. What is the difference between mifepristone and misoprostol?

Let us look into both these pills in a greater detail.

Mifepristone

It is also called RU486, or the abortion pill. But, you need to keep in mind that you should not administer this pill to yourself in the absence of Misoprostol. Can mifepristone and misoprostol be taken at the same time? Yes, they are to be taken at the same time for you to terminate your pregnancy.

Mifespristone interferes with the usage of the progesterone hormone by the body. It is the hormone that is essentially responsible for maintaining the whole pregnancy. Mifepristone kick starts the process of medical termination by the following:

  1. It relaxes and opens the cervix or the womb’s neck.

  2. Your uterus or the womb starts becoming sensitive to the hormones called prostaglandins. These hormones are what cause contractions.

Misoprostol

This abortion pill emulates the prostaglandins that is produced by your body and are responsible for starting the contractions. This pill is taken after mifepristone and it continues the process of terminating your pregnancy by the following:

  1. It relaxes and opens the cervix more.

  2. It causes contractions of the uterus. Hence, all the contents that are present in it are slowly expelled through the passage of vagina.

How Do You Administer Mifepristone and Misoprostol?

Mifepristone and misoprostol dosage

Woman taking a pill, Credit: Canva


Before taking mifepristone and misoprostol, ensure that you are not over 11 weeks pregnant. You will have to take one mifepristone pill and four pills of misoprostol. It is also recommended to have four more misoprostol pills. As it is not easy to obtain a total of eight misoprostol pills, you can proceed with only four of them. However, the efficacy of the pill will get minimized when you do so.

You should take 200 mg dosage of mifepristone and 200 mcg dosage of misoprostol. However, ensure that if your pills have different dosages of mcg or mg, then you need to recalculate how many pills you take. It is because you need to administer the above-mentioned dosage to yourself in order to terminate your pregnancy. Note that you can reach out to your medical provider or doctor if you find any problem in calculating the dosages of the pills.

Mifepristone and Misoprostol – Steps for Safe Abortion

abortion pills

Picture of ultrasound with some pills, Credit: Canva


By following the regime recommended below, you can attain an abortion safely with these pills. You will require a single mifepristone pill, two ibuprofen pills, and 4-8 misoprostol pills. Ensure that you seek an alternative option with your doctor if you find that you are allergic to ibuprofen. All these three pills can be found in varying shapes and sizes in different countries. Also, remember to calculate the dosage. Mifepristone and misoprostol dosage should be 200 mg and 200 mcg respectively while ibuprofen dosage should be 400 mg.

While administering these medicines follow the steps listed below

  1. Swallow one mifepristone pill that is of 200 mg with water. After this, wait for around 24-48 hours.

  2. Next, take two ibuprofen pills that are of 400 mg each. After taking these pills, you need to wait for one hour.

  3. After an hour has elapsed, take four misoprostol pills that are of 200 mcg each and place them under your tongue. Note that you should keep them below your tongue for around 30 minutes. Only after 30 minutes can you swallow the residual parts of it with water.

  4. Now, you need to take four extra misoprostol pills that are of 200 mcg. These pills are to be placed beneath the tongue. This step should be done only and only if you experience absolutely no bleeding after 3 hours of the extra dosage of misoprostol pills and you are only 9-11 weeks pregnant. Do not do this step if you do not satisfy this criteria.

Precautions to Take After Taking Mifepristone and Misoprostol

abortion pills precautions

Picture of person taking pills, Credit: Canva


There are certain precautions that you should follow if you want to avoid any infection afterwards. These precautions are to be followed in the weeks after you have administered the pill or until you feel that your bleeding has lightened to a great extent.

  1. Do not introduce any new objects in your vagina like menstrual cups and tampons.

  2. Do not engage in strenuous physical activities like carrying and pushing heavy objects or walking too much.

  3. You Do not have to exercise often. Walk less and do not engage in weight lifting exercises.

  4. Do not indulge in any kind of sexual activity until you feel like your bleeding has become slight.

  5. A contraceptive can be used to prevent the occurrence of an unwanted pregnancy in future. You will experience an ovulation after around 10 days of your taking the abortion pills.

What to Expect During a Medical Abortion?

stomach pain during pregnancy

Picture of woman with stomach pain, Credit: Canva


For a majority of women, medical abortion that is done by taking mifepristone and misoprostol pills feels like they are having a miscarriage. They experience symptoms similar to it and thus they co-relate medical abortion with miscarriage. During the medical abortion period, you might experience the following:

  1. Stomach cramping and frequent aches in the region of your belly.

  2. Heavy bleeding that occurs with large clots. Make sure that you consult your doctor if you do not experience any bleeding within one day of taking misoprostol.

  3. Nausea and an upset stomach. Ask your doctor to give you a medicine that will help you to get relief from these symptoms.

  4. Frequent bowel movements.

  5. Dizziness and exhaustion.

  6. You can also get a fever that is mild or chills on the day you administer a misoprostol pill. Here, make sure that if you are experiencing fever after you have administered misoprostol pills then consult your doctor.

  7. You can take medications like ibuprofen to get relief from pain but remember not to take aspirin as it will only make your bleeding intense.

  8. For dealing with stomach cramps, you can put a hot pad or water bottle over your stomach.

  9. You can also rub your back or have someone doing it.

When Should You Seek Medical Help?

vaginal bleeding

Photo of vaginal cup, Credit: Canva


Although mifepristone and misoprostol abortion pills are a safe way to end your pregnancy, yet in certain cases, complication can arise. These complications should be viewed as warning signs by women. If you ignore these symptoms, there are full chances of your health becoming worse.

  1. Continuous vaginal bleeding that is not very heavy is one of the first signs of an underlying complication in your body. This slight bleeding which continues for 10-16 days after the medical abortion should make you concern and immediaately seek a doctor’s help.

  2. Heavy bleeding from the vagina beyond two days after the medical abortion should also make you seek your medical professional’s help. It is very rare in women and such intense bleeding can make them lose a significant amount of blood in their body. In many cases, they need a blood transfusion.

  3. In rare cases, you may get an infection of the pelvic region. Do not ignore the symptoms of such infections like fever, lethargy, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and foul smelling vaginal discharge.

Now that you know all about abortion pills like mifepristone and misoprostone, you will face no problem while executing your medical abortion process. Keep in mind that you will face certain side effects after administering these pills like cramping and bleeding. But you can ask your doctor appropriate medication to deal with it. If you find yourself experiencing any adverse effects, it may be a cause of concern. So, make sure that in such a case, you seek a professional’s help as soon as possible.

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