Can you see the “products” of the abortion (placenta, embryo, blood) and what should you do?

Most of the time you can see blood and tissue in the sanitary napkin or in the toilet. The (very small) embryo is usually passed within this blood and tissue in such a way that it can go unnoticed. However, it is possible that you might see the (very small) embryo. Depending on the length of the pregnancy, a small pregnancy sac with some tissue around it may be visible. For instance, if you are only five to six weeks pregnant, there will be no visible sac. At nine weeks, you might be able to find a sac in the blood and it is possible that you might see the embryo. Please be warned that later pregnancies of 8 or 9 weeks will pass an embryo that is approximately 2.5 cm. This can be distressing. Our helpdesk can offer resources and support if you’re concerned about this.

More information:

At 6 or 7 weeks gestation, the embryo measures approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inches, and at 9 weeks it measures about 1 inch. Frequently, the embryo expelled during a medical abortion is not explicitly visible because it is passed together with other pregnancy tissue and blood.

But women who experienced it, genuinely felt it was something that they could cope with at home. Many preferred their own choice of companions they could have in their own home, and being able to use their own toilet facilities. The World Health Organization suggests that self-management of medical abortion can be empowering as individuals may value the sense of control over the procedure and comfort of their own place.