Questions and Answers

 

Whether you are a woman in need of an abortion, a journalist or are just curious about this service, here we try to answer all possible questions you might have.

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Every question has a simple answer and a more in-depth answer which refers to scientific articles. The information given here is regularly updated with the latest scientific research.

  • Why is this help service needed?

    A safe abortion service is required to protect a woman's life and health when she needs to end her unwanted pregnancy. This abortion help service relies on women to make conscious, well-informed decisions about their bodies.
    Abortion is the most performed medical intervention in the world. Read more »

  • What is a medical abortion?

    A medical abortion uses a medicine or a combination of tablets to cause the non-surgical termination of an early pregnancy up until the 10th week of pregnancy.
    The safest, most effective type of medical abortion requires the use of two different pills. These medicines, called Mifepristone and… Read more »

  • Is it difficult to do a medical abortion by yourself?

    No. You can take Mifepristone and Misoprostol on your own. Using Mifepristone and Misoprostol is no more complicated than using other medications. You will get clear instructions about how to use the drugs, what to expect, and when to go to a doctor. If you have questions about any step of the… Read more »

  • Is a medical abortion dangerous?

    Medical abortions performed in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy have a very low risk of complications. This risk is the same as when a woman has a natural miscarriage. These problems can easily be treated by a doctor.   Out of every 100 women that do medical abortions, 2 or 3 women have to go… Read more »

  • Is it safe to get a consultation for a medical abortion over the internet?

    A consultation on the internet is very similar to a face to face consultation. In the online consultation the doctor asks you questions in order to get all the information needed to make sure you can safely have a medical abortion. The doctor depends on the information you give, as is also the case… Read more »

  • How is this protocol different than using only Misoprostol?

    In some countries women can get Misoprostol at their local pharmacies and use it alone, without also taking the Mifepristone. Why should you consider using this abortion help service instead? If a woman uses both Mifepristone and Misoprostol for medical abortion, it is much more likely she will… Read more »

  • Is it legal?

    In most countries there is no violation of customs regulations when you receive the medicines at your home address. Read more »

  • How do you know if you are pregnant and how long you have been pregnant for?

    Most women determine that they are pregnant if they are sexually active and have missed a period. Nausea, breast soreness, and fatigue are also common symptoms in early pregnancy. Ultrasound or pregnancy tests are the only ways to immediately be sure that a woman is pregnant. You can do a… Read more »

  • How many weeks into your pregnancy can you do a medical abortion?

    You can do a medical abortion at home until the 12th week of your pregnancy. Read more »

  • What will happen if you do a medical abortion after the first 10 weeks?

    Medical abortion has been shown to be effective through the first trimester (12 weeks) and has been successfully used during the second trimester. (13) Read more »

  • What if you are not pregnant but take the medicines anyway?

    Your health will not be harmed if you are not pregnant but take the medicines anyway. However, you may still experience the common side effects of the medicines, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a low fever for up to 24 hours. Read more »

  • What are hCG levels during pregnancy?

    hCG levels in weeks from Last Menstrual Period : 3 weeks LMP: 5 - 50 mIU/ml 4 weeks LMP: 5 - 426 mIU/ml 5 weeks LMP: 18 - 7,340 mIU/ml 6 weeks LMP: 1,080 - 56,500 mIU/ml 7 - 8 weeks LMP: 7, 650 - 229,000 mIU/ml 9 - 12 weeks LMP: 25,700 - 288,000 mIU/ml 13 - 16 weeks LMP: 13,300 - 254,000 mIU/ml… Read more »

  • What if you have a RH - bloodtype?

    Usually doctors advise women who have a (surgical) abortion or miscarriage or delivery to have an injection with anti D globuline. The reason is that if the fetus has a positive bloodtype and if there is an exchange in blood the woman can make antibodies in her blood that can affect the next born… Read more »

  • When should you not use the medicines?

    You should not use the medicines if:   someone is forcing you to end your pregnancy. you are not sure about wanting to end your pregnancy. the first day of your last menstrual period was more than 10 weeks ago. you have an allergy to Mifepristone, Misoprostol, or… Read more »

  • What is a contraindication and how do you know if you have one?

    Contraindications are conditions or situations might keep you from being able to safely use Mifepristone-Misoprostol. These are generally things that you will already know about yourself. Screening you for these contraindications on the internet is very similar to the screening process at a face Read more »

  • What is an ectopic pregnancy and how do you know you have one?

    An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that grows outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube. It is a life threatening situation because if the pregnancy grows too large it can cause the tube burst. This must always be treated with an operation or medicines. A medical abortion does not effect a… Read more »

  • What is an IUD?

    An IUD is a contraceptive, a small coil of about 3 cm inserted by a doctor in the womb to prevent pregnancy. A woman who has a cupper IUD and is pregnant must have an ultrasound because the risk of an ectopic pregnancy is higher. If the ultrasound shows that pregnancy is in the uterus, if possible Read more »

  • Why shouldn't you be alone when you do a medical abortion and what if you do it alone anyway?

    You are strongly advised to use the medicines in the presence of someone you trust. However, if you choose to do the medical abortion alone, it is not necessarily hazardous. Make sure you are near a phone or some way of contacting medical professionals. You should consider telling someone (a… Read more »

  • Why should you be within 60 minutes of a hospital or first aid centre when you do the abortion?

    It is absolutely necessary to be within one hour of help, in case you lose too much blood. This is also the case when a woman has a miscarriage or gives birth. It is not necessary for you to live in an urban area to do a medical abortion. Almost all areas with internet access will also have a basic… Read more »

  • What painkillers can you use?

    NSAID's like Ibuprofen and Diclofenac are the most effective painkillers. If you cannot obtain those, Paracetamol or Tylenol (acetaminophen)  also help.  Please read the patient instructions of the package of painkillers you obtained for the maximum doses you can use. Do NOT use anti Read more »

  • How should you use the abortion pills?

    To end a pregnancy the medicines should be used in the following way: First you should swallow one tablet of Mifepristone. This medicine blocks the effects of progesterone, the hormone that is necessary to maintain the pregnancy. 24 hours later you should put 4 tablets of Misoprostol under… Read more »

  • Are there other ways to use the Misoprostol?

    24 hours after swallowing the Mifepristone, the Misoprostol tablets can be used in one of three ways: under the tongue, vaginally or buccally (in the space between gum and cheek). All methods are equally effective in causing an abortion. However ALL the misoprostol must be used in the same way. Read more »

  • What happens if you do not use Misoprostol in time?

    The doctor advises you to use the Misoprostol 24 hours after swallowing the Mifepristone tablet. However it can also be used earlier or later, from 12 hours to 72 hours after swallowing Mifepristone. Read more »

  • What if you take the Mifepristone and then decide not to take the Misoprostol?

    If, for some reason, you take the Mifepristone and then decide you will not take the Misoprostol part of the medical abortion regimen, there are a few things that could happen. You might experience a complete abortion without ever taking Misoprostol. You might experience a missed abortion Read more »

  • Can you use Mifepristone and Misoprostol if you are still breastfeeding?

    It is better not to breastfeed during the first 5 hours after taking Mifepristone and after using Misoprostol. It is best to throw away the milk produced in the first 5 hours. Read more »

  • Is it safe to have a medical abortion if you've already had one in the past?

    Women are fertile for about 40 years. Some women need more than one abortion because for example contraception fails or some women cannot choose when to have sexual relations, or because contraception or information about it is inaccessible. 66 Having a safe abortion, or more than one… Read more »

  • Can you eat or drink while you are taking the medicines?

    You should not drink any alcohol or use drugs, as it can affect your judgment. You can eat food and drink liquids as you normally would. However, as some women experience nausea from the misoprostol, you may want to eat lightly. Read more »

  • When will you start bleeding and how long will it last?

    Mifepristone alone usually does not cause any side effects before taking Misoprostol, although some women may experience light bleeding or nausea. After using Misoprostol you should expect bleeding and cramps. Bleeding usually starts within four hours of using the pills, but it sometimes starts… Read more »

  • What if you don’t bleed after you use the medications?

    If you do not start bleeding within 4 hours of taking Misoprostol, you should apply another 2 tablets. If you still do not bleed within 24 hours and you are positive that you were pregnant, then you either have an ectopic pregnancy or a continuing pregnancy. You should have an ultrasound. If you… Read more »

  • Can you see the products of the abortion (placenta, embryo, blood) and what should you do with them?

    Most of the time women can see blood and tissue in their sanitary napkin or in the toilet. The (very small) embryo is usually passed within this blood and tissue in such as way that it goes unnoticed by the woman. However, it is possible that you might see the (very small) embryo. Depending on the… Read more »

  • What are the side effects of the medicines?

    The medical abortion normally causes side effects such as pain and cramping, as well as bleeding accompanied by the passage of blood clots and tissue. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and hot flashes or fever may also occur. A fever that starts soon after Misoprostol… Read more »

  • What is a successful abortion and how do you know you've had one?

    A medical abortion is successful when the pregnancy stops developing and there is no need for additional medical care. Research has shown that 99.5 % of the women who do a medical abortion in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy with mifepristone and misoprostol will have an abortion that ends the… Read more »

  • How do you know if you have complications and what should you do?

    If performed in the first 10 weeks, a medical abortion carries a very small risk of complications. This risk is the same as when a woman has a miscarriage. A doctor can easily treat these problems. Out of every 100 women who do medical abortion, 2 or 3 women will have to go to a doctor, first aid… Read more »

  • How do you know if you have a post-abortion infection?

    Infections following medical abortions are very rare. If you feel weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever that lasts more than 24 hours or is higher than 100.4 F/ 38 C, pain in your belly, if your belly feels sore or tender, if you bleed a lot or for a long time, or if you have vaginal… Read more »

  • How do you know if you have an incomplete abortion?

    An incomplete abortion is an abortion that has only been partially successful. The pregnancy has ended— no fetus will develop, but your body has only expelled part of the tissue and products of pregnancy. If you have prolonged bleeding, too much bleeding (much more than a regular menstrual period… Read more »

  • What is a curettage/vacuum aspiration and is it necessary after medical abortion?

    Vacuum aspiration or curettage or dilation and curettage (D&C) is a surgical intervention to remove the contents of the uterus. Sometimes this treatment is necessary if there are complications after medical abortion or spontaneous miscarriage. However in some countries doctors are… Read more »

  • How do you know if you have a continuing pregnancy?

    Continuing pregnancy is a pregnancy that continues to develop even after the use of Mifepristone and Misoprostol. In this case, the abortion has failed completely and the woman remains pregnant. Even if you bleed, you can still have a continuing pregnancy. Bleeding does not mean that you have had a… Read more »

  • What are the chances that the fetus will be malformed if you have an ongoing pregnancy?

    If you have an ongoing pregnancy after using Misoprostol, the risk of having a baby with fetal malformations is increased. However, this risk is very small, less than 1 in 1000. This risk is smaller than the normal risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. This very small risk does not exist when… Read more »

  • Do you need to have an ultrasound after doing a medical abortion?

    If you do not have symptoms of a complication, it is not necessary to have an ultrasound after a medical abortion. By having an ultrasound you can determine whether the pregnancy has ended even a few days after the abortion, especially if you are unsure whether the abortion was successful. You… Read more »

  • Do you require psychological counseling after you have had an abortion?

    Most women do not need any psychological help after an abortion. Feelings of regret after abortion are rare. Indeed, the most common emotional response after abortion is relief. Transient feelings of guilt, sadness, or loss are common but most women can overcome negative feelings that might affect… Read more »

  • Does medical abortion increase the risk of breast cancer?

    No, having an induced abortion does not increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Read more »

  • Will you be able to get pregnant and have children after a medical abortion?

    A medical abortion does not affect your ability to conceive or bear a child in the future. In fact, if you do not want to become pregnant at this time, it is important to start using contraceptives as soon as you start having sexual relations again. The risks are the same as after a spontaneous… Read more »

  • When can you start to have sexual relations again after having a medical abortion?

    It is best to wait 4-7 days after taking the Misoprostol to have sexual relations. Right after the abortion, the cervix might be slightly open, and there is a greater risk of infection if you have sexual relations during this time. It is normal to have irregular light bleeding for up to two… Read more »

  • When can you get pregnant again after having a medical abortion?

    Although your menstruation may not come for several weeks after your abortion, you can ovulate (be fertile) at any time after the abortion. This means you can get pregnant right away, even if you are still having some light bleeding. If you want to avoid becoming pregnant right away, it is very… Read more »

  • How can you prevent a future unwanted pregnancy?

    About 85% of sexually active women who do not use contraceptives become pregnant within a year. A woman can become pregnant while breastfeeding, from about 10 days after childbirth, and even during her menstruation. Withdrawal of the penis prior to ejaculation and periodic abstinence does not… Read more »

  • Reference List

    These are the sources for the information found in the Question and Answer section. By exploring these sources, you can find the scientific studies and articles that further explain the information and services we provide. Read more »

  • "How to do a medical abortion" Sound and animation

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