The 8 Most Asked Questions about the Abortion Pill

The abortion pill is becoming more and more popular as a way to have a safe, private abortion. And it’s no wonder: it can be used as soon as you know you are pregnant and can be taken in the comfort of your own home.

Have questions about the abortion pill and how it works? Read on to get your questions answered!

1. What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is actually two different pills. They can be taken the same day or the second pills can be taken within 72 hours, in a place you feel most comfortable. The first pill, mifepristone, blocks a hormone necessary for a pregnancy to grow. The second pill, actually 4 small pills called misoprostol, stimulates your uterus to cramp and bleed, like a period, so that the pregnancy will leave your body (similar to a miscarriage).

2. When do I take the second abortion pill? Can I take misoprostol at night?

You can take the second abortion pill anytime within 72 hours of taking the first pill. Many people take it at night so that they can have the most privacy and with good pain medication, some people even sleep through the effects, but pain levels are different for everyone. One of the benefits of the abortion pill is that YOU have control over the timing and environment of the abortion.

3. How much does the abortion pill cost?

The price will vary by location and provider.  At carafem a video visit for abortion care costs $0-249, while immediate evaluations online cost $0-199, depending on your eligibility for financial aid. An in-center abortion pill appointment costs between $450-$475 depending on which location you visit. If cost is an issue, carafem works with funding options that may be able to help reduce the cost through financial assistance.

4. How much time do I have to decide whether or not to take the abortion pill?

If you have been pregnant for 11 weeks or less, you can take the abortion pill. But it’s important that you take time to think through all your options. There are many ways to address an unintended pregnancy —  you determine your own best path based on your circumstances.

5. Is the abortion pill safe?

The abortion pill is very safe! It has been used by hundreds of thousands of people in the US since the year 2000 and millions worldwide for over 20 years. There are no indications that the abortion pill affects a person’s ability to have a baby when they are ready — neither getting pregnant nor staying pregnant in the future are affected by using the abortion pill.

6. What does the abortion pill feel like?

The big question that everyone wants to know is, does an abortion hurt? We wish we could give you a definitive answer but the truth is that having an abortion feels different for everybody — just like how periods are different for everybody. It can be painful or just a little uncomfortable. Everyone reacts differently. Thousands of people have successfully used this method of abortion for the last 20 years. Your carafem health care team can help you to feel prepared to better handle this experience.

For most people, medication abortion physically feels like having an early miscarriage or a heavy period with mild flu-like symptoms. You could have cramping and aches in your belly, heavy bleeding with large blood clots, an upset stomach or vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, tiredness, and mild fever (99-100° F) or chills on the day you take the misoprostol. If you don’t have any bleeding within 24 hours after taking the second medicine, call your health center to check in about what to do next. Some people respond well after an additional dose of misoprostol. If at any time you have very heavy bleeding or have flu-like symptoms that are getting worse instead of better after 24 hours, call your doctor or health center right away. Don’t worry, carafem will provide pain medication and anti-nausea medication to help you to manage these effects of an abortion with medication.

7. How effective is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is extremely effective! About 98% of clients have a successful abortion when using the pill.

8. How do I get the abortion pill?

The best way is to visit an experienced abortion provider for the abortion pill. We offer video visits and immediate evaluations for the abortion pill online. If you live in the DC, Chicago, or Atlanta areas, you can make an appointment at one of our health centers. At carafem centers, abortion pill appointments take less than an hour and can usually be scheduled within a few days, sometimes even the same day or next.

If you live elsewhere, you may be able to find a provider near you.

Remember: whether or not you have an abortion, and how you choose to do it, is entirely up to you. We’re here to talk you through your options – just give us a call at 855-SAY-CARA or chat with us here on our website.