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 process, you can contact a helpline. A medical abortion does not need to take place in a hospital or first aid clinic. 64 The risks of a medical abortion are the same as those of a miscarriage. About 15% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. These miscarriages do not happen in a hospital but usually at home. Most women know how to deal with it themselves and only go to a hospital in case of problems like heavy bleeding or fever. A medical abortion provokes a miscarriage. You can take the medicines yourself at home as long as you are not longer than 10 weeks pregnant and live within one hour of medical help.

More scientific information:

Mifepristone and Misoprostol do not cause effects that need to be monitored in a clinical setting. “Self-administering Mifepristone-Misoprostol correctly is simple. Unlike other drugs, such as adriamycin or injectable penicillin, which require administration under physician supervision to monitor for rapid and potentially fatal reactions, neither Mifepristone nor Misoprostol is complicated to administer nor involves difficult or dangerous conditions to monitor during or immediately following administration. 7 

Several studies have been done about whether or not women can take the Misoprostol part of the regimen at home, and these studies have determined that yes, women are capable of taking Misoprostol at home and it is safe for them to do so. 14  In these studies, women take Mifepristone at the clinic, and then they take Misoprostol later at home. Misoprostol is the part of the regimen that causes contractions and bleeding. More risk is associated with Misoprostol than with Mifepristone. Researchers have determined that women can safely use Misoprostol at home. From these studies we can conclude that women are also able to correctly and safely swallow Mifepristone at home.

Several studies exist that prove that women can manage side effects. One study was done that included thousands of American women, to see if they could safely and successfully use Mifepristone and Misoprostol with less supervision from medical professionals. 7  Researchers found that women were able to follow directions for seeking follow-up care when problems occurred. It was also concluded that the women in the study were capable of dealing with passing the tissue and blood when they did medical abortions on their own. 7 

In another study involving over 1,000 women, the researchers stated that required follow-up visits to a clinic after a medical abortion may be unnecessary. They stated, “It has been suggested that giving women simple instructions and advice about detecting complications would be a suitable alternative to a follow-up in a clinic, with little evidence that mandatory follow-up visits detect conditions that women could not learn to recognize themselves. 20 Women will seek medical care if they have problems. When they have information and access to medical care in case of an emergency, women in both developing and more developed countries can manage the effects of an abortion on their own. 1 

Doctors in Scotland organized a study in which women did medical abortions at home. One of the researchers, Dr. Gillian Penney of Aberdeen University, stated, “I was very surprised by the level of acceptability to home abortion amongst women. I thought it would be frightening for women and they would want to be with the necessary staff who can give them support through the procedure and reassure them. But women who experienced it for real genuinely felt it was something they could cope with in the home. Many preferred having their own choice of companions and being able to use their own toilet facilities. 46  None of the 50 women in the study reported any problems. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists support women’s access to home medical abortion. 46