Home Care

Instructions for Taking the Abortion Pill At Home

After speaking with our clinical team or completing an immediate evaluation, you will receive information about how to take the abortion pills at home. The handouts may have been emailed to you so if you don’t see them in your inbox, check your spam folder. If you had the abortion pills shipped to you, they should arrive in the next 1-4 days. To view the instructions for how to take the abortion pill, please click on one of the below buttons or links.

If you and your provider decided that taking mifepristone and misoprostol was the right choice for you, you can review the care instructions by clicking on the below or use this link to review the medical protocol for taking Mifepristone and Misoprostol at home.

To review the medical protocol for taking Mifepristone and Misoprostol at home to have an abortion

If you and your provider decided that taking misoprostol alone was the right choice for you, you can review the care instructions by clicking on the below or use this link to review the medical protocol for taking Misoprostol Alone at home to have an abortion.

To review the medical protocol for taking Misoprostol only at home to have an abortion

What to Expect

Normally, in as little as 1 to 4 hours after taking the misoprostol, most people will start to have cramping, bleeding, and possibly other symptoms described below:

Bleeding– Bleeding is expected and it may be heavier than a period or it may be just like a period. Blood clots are also expected during this time. Most people experience several hours of heavier bleeding that quickly decreases once you have passed the pregnancy from your body. Some people do not bleed again until their next period, in about 4-6 weeks. Others may bleed off and on until their next period starts. These are all normal possibilities.

Cramping– Cramping is the pain you feel as your uterus contracts to pass the pregnancy from your body. Your cramps may be strong at first but they will get better after the abortion is complete. Some things you can do to help include taking your pain medicine, putting a hot water bottle or heating pad on your belly, taking a warm shower, sitting on the toilet, or having someone rub your back.

Chills and fever– You may feel cold or have chills on the day you take the misoprostol. It is also possible to feel hot and sweaty or even to have a mild fever that resolves itself within 24 hours. Please call the health center right away if you have a fever of 100.4°F or higher more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol — anytime in the next two weeks.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea– You may have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea as normal effects of this medication. These symptoms should go away within 24 hours. If these symptoms do not go away within 2 days or if you feel they are severe, then please call us.

Tiredness– You may feel tired for 1 or 2 days. You should be back to normal soon.

When to Contact Us

Call carafem right away with questions or concerns or if you have:

  • Vomiting less than 30 mins after taking the mifepristone or while holding the misoprostol in your cheeks.
  • Bleeding that is soaking through 2 maxi pads per hour for more than 2 hours straight
  • Passing blood clots that are larger than a lemon
  • Severe pain not helped by pain medications, rest, or heating pads
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours
  • A fever of 100.4°F that starts more than 24 hours after taking the misoprostol
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction (rash, shortness of breath)
  • Have no bleeding or blood clots within 24 hours of using misoprostol

Call 855-729-2272 during business hours or after hours. After hours you will be transferred to our on-call staff by staying on the line to the end of the recorded message.

Follow Up

We will be contacting you in the next 24 to 48 hours of taking your medication to make sure you are well.

Not everyone needs to come to the center for an in-person follow-up. Our staff will discuss this with you during the follow-up call.

We ask that you take a urine-based pregnancy test 4 weeks after the misoprostol and call us with the results.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I use tampons or a menstrual cup? 
We suggest you use regular full-sized maxi pads for 24 hours after taking the misoprostol to understand how much you are bleeding. You can return to tampons or a menstrual cup anytime after that.

When can I have sex?
There is no specific time you must wait to resume having sex. You can do so whenever you feel ready. Be aware, you can become pregnant again very quickly if you have sex after an abortion without using reliable birth control.

Can I use other medications or herbal treatments to help with pain or to relax? 
Some medications could interact with the painkillers we have provided. Please call us with the specific name of the medication or herbal supplement you wish to take.

How long after an abortion before I can get pregnant?
It’s possible to get pregnant right away after an abortion. We recommend you start using a reliable method of birth control on the same day as taking the abortion pill if you wish to prevent another pregnancy. We are happy to help you with this if you have questions.

Can I eat or drink during my abortion process?
It is important to stay hydrated. Sips of water or carbonated soft drinks like ginger ale may help. Some people find hot tea soothing. You may eat if you are hungry, but because the medications may cause an upset stomach, it’s best to avoid spicy or greasy foods.

How long will the bleeding last?
Bleeding is common for several weeks after using the abortion pill. As long as the amount is less than a period, it is likely normal – even if bleeding starts and stops or varies between spotting and heavier amounts. Color can range from dark brown to bright red and still be normal. If you are concerned about bleeding, please call us at 855-729-2272 for advice.