How Effective is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is about 94-98% effective in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, meaning it fails about two to six out of 100 times, according to Planned Parenthood. Medication abortions also become less successful as pregnancy progresses. For example, they're about 95% effective eight to nine weeks into the pregnancy and 92% effective nine to ten weeks into the pregnancy.

Abortion Pill Side Effects

How long do you bleed after the abortion pill, and what are the common side effects? The first pill, Mifeprex, doesn't usually cause symptoms, although light bleeding and nausea are possible. On the other hand, misoprostol creates intense side effects as the embryo expels from the body.

Within a few hours of taking misoprostol, you'll experience bleeding that resembles a heavy period - usually accompanied by large clots that can reach the size of a lemon, according to Planned Parenthood. The bleeding will probably last four or five hours. You may also get cramping, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, or mild fever. Anti-nausea medication and ibuprofen may help control these abortion pill side effects.

Most people feel better within a few days of taking abortion pills. However, a small percentage report more serious symptoms. The main concern is an incomplete abortion, which may lead to infection. Rarely, women may experience blood clots in the uterus, extremely heavy bleeding, or an allergic reaction.

Call your doctor immediately if you have super-heavy bleeding (soaking through more than two pads in two hours) or no bleeding 24 hours after taking the second abortion pill. Also let your doctor know about blood clots that last for more than a few hours, high fever (greater than 100.4 degrees), and abdominal issues that extend past 24 hours of taking the pill.

Recovering After the Abortion Pill

Your menstrual period should return within two months of pregnancy termination. You'll probably need to abstain from sexual intercourse for one or two weeks, and you might be advised against using tampons. Mifeprex and misoprostol won't affect your future fertility or pregnancies.

Women may experience a wide range of emotions after taking the abortion pill, including relief, guilt, anger, sadness, and more. All of these responses are normal. Speak to your doctor or a mental health professional for help sorting through these emotions.