Questions and Answers

 

Here you can find all answers to any question you might have about (medical) abortion, contraceptives, STI's

  • Help me, I have an unwanted pregnancy, what can I do?

    If you live in a country where it is permitted to have abortion safe and legally. Please go to Sexual Health Service Worldwide  and you can click on your country to find clinics If you live in a country where there is no access to safe and legal abortion. Please go to www.womenonweb.org. Read more »

  • What is a medical abortion?

    A medical abortion uses a medicine or a combination tablets to cause the non-surgical termination of an early pregnancy up until the 12th 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 use Misoprostol by yourself?

    No. You can take Misoprostol on your own. Using Misoprostol is no more complicated than using other medications. This website has 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 the… Read more »

  • How should you use the medicine misoprostol (cytotec)?

    You will need 12 pills of misoprostol, 200 micrograms (mcg) each.

    To cause an abortion, put 4 pills of of 200 micrograms (in total 800 mcg) Misoprostol under your tongue for 30 minutes. Do not swallow the pills (at least until 30 minutes after putting the tablets under the tongue!!)

    After 3 hours put… Read more »

  • Abortion with Artotec or Arthrotec

    In some counties like Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Lebanon, Misoprostol can be bought in the pharmacies under the brand name Artotec or Arthrotec. Arthrotec is a pil with misoprostol in the outer mantle and a painkiller diclofenac in the inner tablet. Read more »

  • How can I get Misoprostol?

    Instead of using Misoprostol alone it is much more effective (99%) to do a medical abortion with the use of a combination of Mifepriston and Misoprostol, these are available throug Women on Web (go to www.womenonweb.org and do the online consultation) However is some countries Misoprostol is… Read more »

  • Which brand of misoprostol should I use and can different brand names can be used together?

    Misoprostol alone has the following brand names: Cytotec (200µg Misoprostol) Cyprostol Misotrol (Chili) Prostokos (25µg Misoprostol) (Brazil) Vagiprost (25µg Misoprostol) (Egypt) Misotac (Egypt, Ghana, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia) Mizoprostol (Nigeria) Misofar… Read more »

  • Which type of pill containing Misoprostol is the most effective to cause an abortion?

    All brands are effective. The most important thing is that the pills contain 200 mcg of misoprostol - should be indicated in the flyer that comes with the package. We advice taking cytotec, which is harder to find than arthrotec and oxaprost. If you can only find arthrotec or oxaprost you have to… Read more »

  • I cannot get Misoprostol. Could you please send them to me?

    If you live in a country where there is no access to safe and legal abortion you can either: 1- Go to www.womenonweb.org, a on-line medical abortion referral service that provides help for women living where access is restricted. For a donation of 90 euro you will receive a medical abortion… Read more »

  • I am more than 12 weeks pregnant and can travel; where are there clinics that can help?

    England up to 24 weeks BPAS At +44 121 4507700 Lines are open Monday - Friday 8am - 9pm Saturday - 8.30am - 6pm Sunday - 9.30 am - 2.30pm Marie Stopes Marie Stopes House 108 Whitfield Street London UK W1T 5BE Tel: +44 (0) 845 300 8090 The Netherlands up to 22 weeks: CASA… Read more »

  • Can Misoprostol be used if you have Chlamydia?

    An infection with Chlamydia is one of the main causes of infertility and must be treated either before or during the use of Misoprostol. If it is not this can really increase the risk of infection for the woman using Misoprostol. A treatment for Chlamydia consists of taking doxycycline 100 mg 2… Read more »

  • Are there injections that could end my pregnancy?

    The only injection that can successfully end a pregnancy is methotrexate. This medicine is not available in many countries where there is limited access to abortion. In some countries, especially in Latin America, pharmacists may offer women injections of hormones, oxytocin, or quinine to end a… Read more »

  • What is Methotrexate?

    Methotrexate can be used to induce an abortion in combination with Misoprostol (after 3 to 7 days you should take 4 tablets of 200 mcg Misoprostol vaginally). However, Mifepriston (the abortion pill) is more effective, less toxic and has much less side effects than Methotrexate. If a woman has a… Read more »

  • Do antibiotiocs have an effect on the contraceptive pill and/or Misoprostol?

    Antibiotics can diminish the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.  If you must be on antibiotics it is recommended that you also use a condom during this time. Antibiotics have no influence on the effectiveness of Misoprostol.  Read more »

  • Does Provera (a progesteron) help to induce an abortion?

    No it does not. Provera does not contain a working substance to make the womb contract or stop the pregnancy another way. 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 until the 12th week of your pregnancy. Read more »

  • I've been pregnant for more than 12 weeks. Can I still use Misoprostol?

    Misoprostol still works after 12 weeks of pregnancy but the chance of complications rapidly increases the more advanced the pregnancy is. 4% to 8% of women with second trimester pregnancies (after 12 weeks of pregnancy), who try to end their pregnancies with Misoprostol as described below, will… Read more »

  • I am 20 weeks pregnant; can I use Misoprostol?

    Misoprostol should never be used after 20 weeks pregnancy. The fetus is able to live outside the woman’s womb from 20 weeks on. After this period the use of Misoprostol can result in the birth of a living baby. Although Misoprostol is effective until late into the pregnancy, but the risk of… 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… Read more »

  • What if you have a RH - bloodtype?

    Usually doctors advice women who have an (surgical) abortion or miscariage or delivery to take 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 9 weeks ago. you have an allergy to Misoprostol or prostaglandins you have one of the following… 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 youself. 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 treat a… Read more »

  • Can I have an abortion if I have an IUD?

    An IUD is a contraceptive, a small coil of about 3 cm inserted by a doctor into the womb to prevent pregnancy. A woman who has an 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, it is necessary… 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 miscarries 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?

    Ibuprofen is the most effective painkiller for cramps. You can also use other NSAID's like Naproxen and Diclofenac. If you cannot obtain Ibuprofen, Paracetamol or Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aspirin (salicylic acid) also help. For some women, additionally a hot water bottle on the belly brings… Read more »

  • Can (homeopathic) medication that decreases menstrual pain be used with Misoprostol?

    Because some of these medications might counter the contractions of the womb / uterus, which reduces the effectiveness of Misoprostol, we advise women to use general painkillers.  Ibuprofen is the most effective painkiller for cramps. You can also use other NSAID's like Naproxen and Diclofenac. If… Read more »

  • How should you use the medicine?

    You will need 12 pills of misoprostol, 200 micrograms (mcg) each. To cause an abortion, put 4 pills of of 200 micrograms (in total 800 mcg) Misoprostol under your tongue for 30 minutes. Do not swallow the pills (at least until 30 minutes after putting the tablets under the tongue!!) After 3 hours… Read more »

  • Are there other ways to use the Misoprostol?

    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. We strongly advise you to use Misoprostol… Read more »

  • Can you use Misoprostol if you are still breastfeeding?

    It is better not to breastfeed during the first 5 hours after taking 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 safe… Read more »

  • Can I take part of the Misoprostol/Cytotec orally and part vaginally. Is this effective?

    We only advise women to EITHER take the pills vaginally OR under the tongue (dissolve under the tongue for 30 minutes and only swallow the pills after that). She should not swallow it because this is much less effective. She can also put the tablets with her fingers as deep as possible in her… 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?

    After using Misoprostol you should expect bleeding and cramps. Bleeding usually starts within four hours of using the first set of pills, but it sometimes starts later. For some women, the bleeding and cramping and also other side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and… Read more »

  • Can you go to work while doing the abortion? For how long must you rest before returning to work?

    It is best to take Misoprostol on the weekends or when you can rest for a bit. The bleeding usually starts 3-5 hours after the first dose. Bleeding should be heavy and during this heavy bleeding cramps may occur, for this reason it is not recommended that you go to work during treatment. As soon as… Read more »

  • I took the first dose of Misoprostol and started bleeding. Should I take the second and third doses?

    Yes, you must take the second and third dosage, despite the blood loss. Scientific research has proven that the second and third dosage increases the effectiveness of the treatment and reduces the number of incomplete abortions (i.e. tissue remains in the uterus), which means that no follow-up… Read more »

  • How much and what color is the blood loss?

    The general rule is that fresh blood is red and old blood is brown. While having an abortion the woman should loose a lot of red blood. Women that are insecure about the amount or colour of blood should go to see a doctor / hospital to make sure the abortion has been completed. Read more »

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

    If you do not start bleeding within 4 hours of taking Misoprostol, you should apply another 2 tablets. If you still do not bleed 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 experience… 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 Misoprostol?

    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 administration… Read more »

  • I've used Misoprostol a few days ago and I'm still in a lot of pain. Is this normal?

    If the treatment was successful, you should no longer have any pain, just blood loss. A lot of pain after a few days could mean that the uterus is not completely empty, the abortion is incomplete, and there is a problem. The only way to check this is to get an ultrasound. It is very important that… Read more »

  • I've used Misoprostol but the pregnancy test is still positive. What should I do?

    Sometimes, pregnancy test are still positive 3 or 4 weeks after the abortion, because the hormones are still in the blood. The only way to make sure whether you are still pregnant or not is to have an ultrasound. If that is not possible, we advise you to repeat the pregnancy test after one or two… Read more »

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

    A complete abortion means that the body has expelled all the products of pregnancy (blood, tissue, embryo) and there is no need for surgery (vacuum aspiration) afterwards. The only way to make sure that you've had a complete abortion is to have an ultrasound 10 days after using the medicines. You… Read more »

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

    If performed in the first 9 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?

    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 accustomed to performing a curettage… Read more »

  • Can Misoprostol be detected in a blood test?

    Misoprostol disappears from the blood after 12 hours, and it does not show up in a normal blood test even if you have the test a few hours after taking misoprostol.    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… 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 still small, less than 1 in 1000. This risk is smaller than the normal risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. We advise women with ongoing… 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 »

  • What are the risks?

    Many illegal abortions are unsafe and are carried out without proper information, resulting in women getting infections or other complications. Because women often don't dare to go to the hospital, treatments are often too late. Therefore, it is important to follow our instructions carefully… Read more »

  • How long will it take before Misoprostol will have effect and for how long will symptoms (bellyache, nausea, blood loss etc.) last?

    In most cases Misoprostol will have an effect within 4 hours and you will start getting cramps and bleeding. The symptoms (pain, blood loss, nausea, diarroea, etc.) can last for up to 12 hours but should diminish when the abortion is complete. (see for complete instructions www.womenonwaves.org… Read more »

  • I used Misoprostol, there was some blood loss but not that much, has the abortion been successful?

    It is very difficult to determine whether an abortion has been successful and complete. The only way to make sure is to have an ultrasound. You could tell the doctor that you think you had a miscarriage. You could also take a pregnancy test after 3 weeks. Should you still be pregnant, then you… Read more »

  • I used Misoprostol; bleeding is like during menstruation. Should I go to the hospital?

    You do not have to go to a hospital, but you should get an ultrasound or do a pregnancy test after 3 weeks to make sure the abortion was successfull. You could say that you think you had a miscarriage. (If you used the tablets vaginally, you first have to check carefully with your fingers deep… Read more »

  • Can you get pregnant again immediately after using Misoprostol?

    Yes. You must immediately start taking precautions. For contraceptive methods please go to www.womenonwaves.org/article-380-en.html 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 »

  • How long must you wait before starting to have sexual intercourse again after the 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 weeks… Read more »

  • Is a medical abortion dangerous?

    Medical abortions performed in the first 12 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 of every 100 women that do medical abortions, 2 or 3 women have to go to a… 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. Read more »

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

    Although it may be several weeks after your abortion before you get your menstruation again, you could ovulate in the first week or two after your abortion, which means you could get pregnant right away. If you do not want to become pregnant right away, it is very important to start using… 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 »

  • Where can I buy the abortion pill (RU 486, mifepristone, mifeprex, mifegyne)?

    RU 486 (the abortion pill, Mifepristone, Mifegyne, Mifeprex) is registered in some countries, (see map) but cannot be bought at a pharmacy or drug store with the exception of India, China and Nepal.

    If you live in a country where there is no access to safe and legal abortion. Please go to www. Read more »

  • Do I have an infection?

    Do I have an infection? A fever could indicate that you have an infection. If you have a fever, we advise you to go see a doctor as soon as possible. It is also very important that you have an ultrasound made to check whether there the abortion was complete and there are no remains in the uterus. Read more »

  • I've tried Misoprostol but had no or very little blood loss. Did the treatment work?

    If you still do not bleed and you are positive that you were pregnant, then you either have an ectopic pregnancy or a continuing pregnancy. You should have an ultrasound. You could tell the doctor that you think you had a miscarriage. If you experience complications such as fever, faintness, or… Read more »

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