Abortion Pills

Abortion Pills - What to Know Afterward

2 mins

Abortion Pills - What to Know Afterward

It’s normal to have questions about how you may feel after an abortion. In addition to the information below, a medical professional is available to provide instructions and answer questions throughout the process. If you live in California or New York and want to access these services, click here.   

Do abortion pills have side effects?

Bleeding and cramping typically starts 3 hours after using misoprostol, is heaviest within 4-6 hours, and slows within 24 hours (although patterns will vary). Ibuprofen can help with cramping, or you can use non-medical pain management techniques like a hot water bottle placed on your lower abdomen.

Other common side effects can be triggered by the misoprostol, and should resolve within 24 hours. These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting (should resolve in 2-6 hours)
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea (should resolve within a day)
  • Fever and chills (can be highest 1-2 hours after, and resolve in 8 hrs)

When should I seek in-person care for side effects?

If you have chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that continues more than 24 hours after taking the misoprostol, or if you experience lightheadedness or fainting, please seek in-person care as soon as you can. 

Please seek immediate emergency care if you experience severe (10 out of 10) pain at any time, if you are soaking more than two maxi pads per hour for 2 consecutive hours, if you’re experiencing pain that is getting worse or doesn’t go away with over-the-counter painkillers more than 24 hours after taking the misoprostol, or if you have a fever higher than 100.4 F 24 hours after taking the misoprostol.

What emotions can I expect to feel afterward?

There isn’t one “normal” emotional reaction - a range of emotions is normal and natural, and the most commonly reported emotion is relief. Whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone.

How soon after an abortion should I start taking birth control?

You can go back to your usual activities, including sex, the next day, or as soon as you feel ready. If you’re currently taking birth control (pill, patch or ring), you can continue/restart your birth control on the day you start your mifepristone. If you are using the birth control shot, you should wait 72 hours after the Mifepristone to administer the shot.


Looking for more personalized info? Message a doctor through Twentyeight to get medical advice based on your needs. 

With the participation of
Dr. Eddie Garcia

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