The Know- How Guide for Abortion Pills

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Abortion Pills are widely used across the globe. However, access to accurate information and the stigma attached with it still prevails in our society. Abortion pills are mistaken to be Plan B pills or morning after pills. Abortion pills are only taken after an early stage pregnancy is confirmed. The medicine, in the form of pills can be taken anytime between 1 to 13 weeks after a pregnancy test has come out positive. On the other hand, Plan B pills are taken immediately or the day after one indulges in unprotected sexual intercourse. In this blog, we talk about- what abortion pills to take, how to take these pills, their working, what their effects and post recovery be like.

Which abortion pills to take?

Most doctors recommend using mifepristone and misoprostol for medication. These two pills are highly effective when used in combination or, using misoprostol alone in the early weeks of pregnancies can be beneficial. Depending on the availability of the medicine and your doctor’s advice, you can decide on which pills to take.

How to use abortion pills?

 If both the pills are taken together, mifepristone is prescribed first. It is usually taken as a tablet with water. Usually, after 24 to 48hours of taking it, one would take four pills of misoprostol. Medical practitioners generally advise taking it orally. The pills should be placed below the tongue. An average of 30 minutes is required for it to dissolve on its own. During this time, one should not indulge in any other activity. If, after 30 minutes the pills don’t dissolve, having a glass of water will help dissolve it. On the other side, a dosage of misoprostol pills alone works to carry out abortion as well. Four of these pills should be consumed simultaneously; the direction of the process is the same as above and should be repeated three times at an interval of three hours respectively. Thus, on an average, a total of 12 of these pills would be required for the entire process. Depending on the guidance of a health worker, the dosage of the pills should be decided. As their suggestions will be case sensitive and extremely valuable to follow. More information on the pills can be found here.

How do abortion pills work? 

 Mifepristone helps break down the lining of the uterus and stops the secretion of progesterone (a hormone mainly responsible for getting the uterus ready for pregnancy). Misoprostol contracts the uterus and releases the uterus lining and the embryo. Both pills complement each other and are consumed as one dose. According to Planned Parenthood, the efficacy of aborting a pregnancy within 8 weeks with these pills is 94-98%.

What to expect after taking an abortion pill?

 Nausea, tiredness, fatigue and diarrhea are common symptoms observed. Bleeding does happen after taking mifepristone. Keeping sanitary napkins handy will be of immense help. Heavy cramps and bleeding can continue because of misoprostol. Some people take a few hours to pass the pregnancy tissue, while it might take one or two days for others. For pain to subside, some doctors prescribe ibuprofen. The intake of the same should be taken as per the doctor’s prescription only. If any further adversities are witnessed, a health worker needs to be informed immediately for treatment.

Post Recovery and Care 

This process can have a toll on one’s mental health. Hence, taking time out to look after oneself and to recover from the entire process is essential. Mood swings and experiencing conflicting emotions is extremely common.Also, having someone you could have by your side while you go through this could be additional support. Your menstrual cycle could take around two months to be back on track. To prevent infection, sexual intercourse should be avoided for a few weeks. Also, the chances of getting pregnant are high after taking the pill. Using contraception could help prevent pregnancy. Our friends at safe2choose can guide us on the choices and information available on contraception.

A Pro- choice movement?

On a concluding note, taking an abortion pill is extremely normal. Every person who wants to get an abortion, can decide for themselves and has the right to do so. It is an act of self-love and must be practiced if you decide on it. Our counsellors could provide guidance and would lend an empathetic ear to your queries and concerns. We promise to provide access to a safe and non-judgmental digital space.

Author Bio:-  Michell Mor, eHealth Content Specialist at Women First Digital, an organization helping women about contraception and sexual health.