Abortion Pill Side effects and recovery:Women who undergo a medical abortion often experience bleeding and cramping that can last for up to two weeks after the procedure, including passing blood clots. Other common side effects include:
nausea and vomiting
feeling dizzy or heaving a headache
short-lasting hot flashes
Most women will abort anywhere from a couple of hours to a day or two after taking the second medication. However, it’s normal to experience light bleeding, spotting, and some cramping for up to four weeks following a medical abortion. Note that you can get pregnant almost immediately following an abortion.
Pros and cons of the abortion pill
When women decide they want to have an abortion, they may get to choose between a medical abortion with the abortion pill, and a surgical abortion.Pros of medical abortion include:
Medical abortions can occur as early as a woman finds out that she is pregnant.
There is no anesthesia required.
It’s less invasive than a surgical abortion.
Some women feel that it’s more “natural,” like a miscarriage.
Medical abortions don’t carry the same risks of uterine perforation.
Abortion pills often cost less than surgical abortions.
Medical abortions do have some disadvantages, which include:
Medical abortions are not 100 percent effective. Failed medical abortions require women to also undergo surgical abortions, and can result in infections.
Bleeding and cramping may last longer than with a surgical abortion.
Medical abortions may require more than one visit to the doctor’s office.
They cannot end a tubal or ectopic pregnancy.
Your doctor will discuss your options with you, and will likely break down some of the pros and cons.
Potential risks and complications
Though medical abortions are considered safe, it is possible to experience complications from the medications.Potential risks and complications of a medical abortion include:
an incomplete or failed abortion, where the fetus is viable or remains in the womb (this can cause serious infections)
an undetected ectopic pregnancy, which can be dangerous and is a medical emergency
blood clots remaining in the uterus
Emergency symptoms of serious complications include:
excessively heavy bleeding (defined as going through two or more pads within an hour span)
strong-smelling vaginal discharge
passing clots for two or more hours that are larger than the size of a lemon
What to do after taking the pill
In many cases, you will take the first pill in front of your doctor at your first appointment. You may then return to the office for the second medication between one and three days later. You may experience symptoms like bleeding and cramping for two to four weeks. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment with you to test for pregnancy at the end of this time frame to ensure that the procedure was successful.
After taking the abortion pill, wait at least one week to have sex, even if your doctor has prescribed you antibiotics. This reduces the risk of getting an infection. When you do have sex, use contraception immediately, as you can get pregnant very soon after an abortion.