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 doctor, first aid center, or hospital to receive further medical care. In countries where childbirth is safe, 1 in every 10.000 women dies during childbirth. Less than 1 in every 100,000 women who use a medical abortion die, making medical abortions safer than childbirth and about as safe as naturally occurring miscarriages. This means that a safe abortion with Mifespristone and Misoprostol is always lifesaving.

More scientific information:

Research has shown that very few serious complications result from medical abortions in comparison to the number of women who experience successful medical abortions. 16 17 20 21 22 In the few cases that a surgical intervention such as a curettage (vacuum aspiration) is needed, this can be managed by the same health care facilities that care for women who have had miscarriages.

||Length of pregnancy || % of women needing further medical care ||

0- 49 days (0-7 weeks)2 %
40-63 days (7-9 weeks)2.5%
64-70 days (9-10 weeks)2,7%
71-77 days (10-11 weeks)3.3%

(Further medical care consists of vacuum aspiration for a continuing pregnancy or an incomplete abortion.)

2 or 3 out of every 100 women that have medical abortions will need to go to a local doctor, first aid center, or hospital to receive further medical care such as vacuum aspiration. This risk is equal to that of requiring medical care for an allergic reaction after using penicillin. 56 57

Medical abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol is used in most European countries. In France only about 1.000.000 abortions have been done with Mifepristone and Misoprostol since 1992 and no deaths have occurred.

As of January 2009, approximately 1,000,000 women in the United States and over 2 million women in Europe have used Mifepristone with Misoprostol to induce abortion, and there have been five deaths associated with the use of Mifepristone in medical abortion. 65
In 2005 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States published a public health advisory concerning the use of Mifepristone and Misoprostol for medical abortion. In it, the FDA stated, “The risk of fatal sepsis in women undergoing medical abortion is very rare (approximately 1 in 100,000). 37 12 36

The chance of death due to a medical abortion is less than a 1 in 100,000. 9 19 Miscarriage (also called spontaneous abortion) is a relatively common occurrence associated with pregnancy, occurring in approximately 15 out of every 100 pregnancies. 35 The death rate associated with miscarriage in the United States was also less than 1 death per 100,000 miscarriages. 35 Thus the death rate associated with medical abortion is about the same as the death rate associated with miscarriage. 9 62

Compare this mortality rate with that of Viagra, a drug that treats erectile dysfunction.
As of early 2000, approximately 11 million prescriptions had been written for Viagra. 18 564 men had died as a result of using the drug, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Based on the number of prescriptions written, that mortality rate is approximately 1 in every 20,000 prescriptions! As most men get more than 1 prescription, this means that the death rate is even higher than 1 in every 20,000 users. Apparently, the mortalities associated with Viagra have not been reason to remove this drug from the market.

Compare medical abortion's mortality rate with that of penicillin. Fatal reactions to penicillin occur in 1 case per 50,000-100,000 courses. 58 This means that a medical abortion is safer than a treatment with penicillin.

The risks associated with miscarriage and with safe and legal abortion “are substantially less than the risk of continuing the pregnancy." 9

In many countries, there are more deaths associated with childbirth than with induced abortion. The actual number of deaths from induced abortion are even fewer than what is shown in the following chart, since deaths related to induced abortion, miscarriage, and ectopic pregnancy are grouped in the same category. 41

CountryDeaths caused by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abortionDeath caused by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abortion per live birthPregnancy-related deaths, excluding abortionPregnancy-related deaths per live births
France21 in 387,000481 in 16,000
Australia00 per 246,000121 in 21,000
Canada11 in 328,000101 in 33,000

Source: WHO Mortality Database, 2001

Though complications can occur, medical abortion using this service is much less dangerous than having an unsafe abortion in places where it is severely restricted. 19 million unsafe abortions occur each year, and 68,000 of them directly result in the death of the woman. 43 This means one in every 279 women undergoing an unsafe abortion dies unnecessarily.
For each of these 68,000 women, there are 30 more (totaling 2,040,000 women) that suffer pain and disability due to unsafe abortions. 44 This means that 1 in every 9 women undergoing an unsafe abortion suffers long term complications unnecessarily.

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…

What is a medical abortion?

A medical abortion uses a medicine or a combination of tablets to cause the non

Is it difficult to use Misoprostol by yourself?

No. You can take Misoprostol on your own. Using Misoprostol is no more…

How to use misoprostol (cytotec) to cause an abortion?

You will need 12 pills of misoprostol, 200 micrograms (mcg) each. To cause an…

How can I get Misoprostol?

Instead of using Misoprostol alone it is much more effective (99%) to do a…

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…

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…

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…

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

Late abortions are available in the following countries: England Abortions up…

Can Misoprostol be used if you have Chlamydia?

An infection with Chlamydia is one of the main causes of infertility and must…

Are there injections that could end my pregnancy?

The only injection that can successfully end a pregnancy is methotrexate. This…

What is Methotrexate?

Methotrexate can be used to induce an abortion in combination with Misoprostol…

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

Antibiotics can diminish the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill as it may…

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

No it does not. Provera does not contain a working substance to make the womb…

คุณจะรู้ได้อย่างไรว่าท้อง และ ท้องได้กี่เดือนแล้ว?

ผู้หญิงส่วนใหญ่รู้ว่าตัวเองท้องเมื่อมีเพศสัมพันธ์และเมนส์ไม่มา อาการคลื่นใส้…

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.

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…

I am 20 weeks pregnant; can I use Misoprostol?

Misoprostol should never be used after 20 weeks pregnancy. The fetus is able to…

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…

ระดับของ hCG ในระหว่างตั้งครรภ์เป็นอย่างไร ?

ระดับของฮอร์โมน hCG ในสัปดาห์ต่างๆ หลังการมีเมนส์ครั้งสุดท้าย (LMP) 3 สัปดาห์…

ถ้าคุณมีกรุ๊ปเลือด RH- ?

โดยทั่วไปหมอจะแนะนำให้ผู้หญิงที่ทำแท้งด้วยยา หรือแท้งธรรมชาติ หรือคลอดบุตร…

When you should not do a medical abortion?

You should not use the medicines if: someone is forcing you to end your…

มีข้อห้ามใช้อะไรบ้าง และคุณจะรู้ได้อย่างไรว่าคุณห้ามใช้ยานี้ ?

ข้อห้ามใช้คือเงื่อนไข หรือสถานการณ์ที่อาจจะทำให้คุณไม่สามารถใช้ไมเฟพริสโตน

การตั้งครรภ์นอกมดลูกคืออะไร และคุณจะรู้ได้อย่างไรว่าคุณตั้งครรภ์นอกมดลูก ?

การตั้งครรภ์นอกมดลูกคือการตั้งครรภ์ที่เกิดขึ้นนอกบริเวณมดลูก…

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…

ทำไมคุณจึงไม่ควรอยู่คนเดียวเมื่อคุณทำแท้งด้วยยา และถ้าคุณอยู่คนเดียว มันจะเป็นอย่างไร ?

ขอแนะนำให้คุณอยู่กับคนที่คุณไว้ใจในขณะที่คุณใช้ยา อย่างไรก็ตาม…

ทำไมคุณจึงควรอยู่ใกล้โรงพยาบาลหรือสถานพยาบาลขั้นต้นในระยะที่สามารถเดินทางไปถึงภายใน 1 ชม. เมื่อทำแท้ง?

เป็นสิ่งที่จำเป็นอย่างแน่นอนในการอยู่ในระยะ 1…

What painkillers can you use?

NSAID's like Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Naproxen are the most effective…

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

Because some of these medications might counter the contractions of the womb…

How should you use Misoprostol (cytotec)?

You will need 12 pills of misoprostol, 200 micrograms (mcg) each. To cause an…

Are there other ways to use the Misoprostol?

We strongly advise you to use Misoprostol under your tongue. This way, no…

Can you use Misoprostol if you are still breastfeeding?

It is better not to breastfeed during the first 5 hours after taking…

จะปลอดภัยไหมที่จะทำแท้งด้วยยาอีก หลังจากที่เคยใช้แล้วครั้งหนึ่งในอดีต ?

ผู้หญิงจะอยู่ในภาวะเจริญพันธุ์เป็นเวลาประมาณ 40 ปี…

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

We strongly advice women to use Misoprostol under the tongue (dissolve under…

คุณสามารถกินหรือดื่มได้ในระหว่างกินยาหรือไม่ ?

คุณไม่ควรดื่มเครื่องดื่มแอลกอฮอล์หรือใช้ยาเสพติดในช่วงนี้…

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

After using Misoprostol you should expect bleeding and cramps. Bleeding usually…

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.

I took the first dose of Misoprostol and started bleeding. Should I take the next doses?

Yes, you must take the next doses, despite the blood loss. Scientific research…

How much and what colour is the blood loss?

The general rule is that fresh blood is red and old blood is brown. While…

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…

What are the side effects of Misoprostol?

The medical abortion normally causes side effects such as pain and cramping, as…

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…

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

การทำแท้งที่สำเร็จและสมบูรณ์เป็นอย่างไร และจะรู้ได้อย่างไร ?

การทำแท้งที่สมบูรณ์หมายถึงการที่ร่างกายได้ขับส่วนต่างๆของครรภ์ (เลือด

คุณจะรู้ได้อย่างไรว่าคุณเกิดอาการแทรกซ้อนและควรจะทำอย่างไร ?

ถ้ามีการทำแท้งด้วยยาในระยะ 10 สัปดาห์แรก…

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

Infections following medical abortions are very rare. If you feel weakness

How do you know if you have an incomplete abortion?

An incomplete abortion is an abortion that has only been partially successful.

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

Vacuum aspiration (MVA)is a surgical intervention to remove the contents of the…

Can Misoprostol be detected in a blood test?

Misoprostol disappears from the blood after 12 hours, and it does not show up…

คุณจะรู้ได้อย่างไรว่าคุณท้องต่อ ?

การท้องต่อคือครรภ์ที่ยังพัฒนาต่อเนื่องแม้หลังจากใช้ยาไมเฟพริสโตน และ…

มีโอกาสมากแค่ไหนที่ตัวอ่อนจะเติบโตอย่างผิดปกติถ้าคุณยังท้องต่อ ?

ถ้าคุณยังตั้งท้องต่อหลังจากใช้ไมโซพรอสทอล…

จำเป็นต้องทำอุลตร้าซาวด์หลังจากทำแท้งด้วยยามั้ย ?

ถ้าคุณไม่ได้มีอาการแทรกซ้อนอะไร ก็ไม่จำเป็นต้องอุลตร้าซาวด์หลังจากทำแท้งด้วยยา…

คุณจำเป็นต้องได้รับการปรึกษาด้านจิตวิทยาหลังจากทำแท้งแล้วหรือไม่ ?

ผู้หญิงส่วนใหญ่ไม่จำเป็นต้องได้รับการปรึกษาหลังจากทำแท้ง…

What are the risks?

Many illegal abortions are unsafe and are carried out without proper…

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…

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…

Can you get pregnant again immediately after using Misoprostol?

Yes. You must immediately start taking precautions. For contraceptive methods…

การทำแท้งด้วยยาเพิ่มความเสี่ยงในการเป็นมะเร็งเต้านมหรือไม่ ?

ไม่ การทำแท้งด้วยยาไม่ทำให้เกิดโอกาสในการพัฒนามะเร็งเต้านมเพิ่มขึ้น

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…

คุณจะยังสามารถท้อง และ มีลูกหลังจากทำแท้งด้วยยาได้หรือไม่ ?

การทำแท้งด้วยยาไม่มีผลต่อความสามารถในการมีลูกอีกในอนาคต ความจริง…

คุณจะท้องได้อีกเมื่อไหร่หลังจากทำแท้งแล้ว?

ถึงแม้ว่าหลังทำแท้งแล้วจะต้องรออีกหลายสัปดาห์กว่าจะมีเมนส์อีกครั้ง…

คุณจะป้องกันการท้องไม่พร้อมครั้งต่อไปได้อย่างไร ?

ประมาณร้อยละ 85…

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

RU 486 (the abortion pill, Mifepristone, Mifegyne, Mifeprex, Zacafemyl)) is…

Do I have an infection?

Do I have an infection? A fever could indicate that you have an infection. If…

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…