General Question

brimelo's avatar

What happens when taking the abortion pill?

Asked by brimelo (81 points ) April 7th, 2011

Can anyone tell me the exact side effects? Like right after you take the pill up to the point where the abortion is complete. The pain level if there is vommiting how big are the clots really? And after it is done, in the future do you gain weight? Are there any side effects after? I’m 5’3 and 113 pounds. Can anyone help me please.

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45 Answers

Jellie's avatar

There is no pain. Only slight queasyness. And the size blood clots depends on what stage you took it at. But they are still bigger than you would expect. A lot of heavy bleeding for extended time period.

Seaofclouds's avatar

If you are talking about the actual abortion medications and not Plan B (the emergency contraception pills), the following might be helpful. If you are talking about Plan B, that is completely different.

The abortion pill basically causes you to have a miscarriage (without another way of really saying it). As far as I know, it can only be taken if you are 8 weeks along or less. Basically, you will have 2 pills to take (which are two separate medications). The first pill (which you would most likely take right at the office) blocks the progesterone which is needed to maintain a pregnancy. This causes the lining of the uterus to shed and the cervix will soften, causing you to bleed. The second pill (which you would take at home between 24–72 hours after the first pill) causes the uterus to contract and usually expells the pregnancy within a certain number of hours. As far as your pain, I’d imagine the contracting of the uterus could cause some pain. I’m not sure how much since I’ve never taken this though. I have had a child though and contractions at later stages of pregnancy are definitely painful. As far as how much blood you will have, it depends on how far along you are and your body. It’s really hard to judge how much you will have or how big of a clot you will pass.

As far as weight gain, it really depends on how your body responds to messing with your hormones. There isn’t anything that I’ve seen listed about the abortion pills and weight gain, but any time you mess with your hormones, you could have the potential for having something happen with your weight (from my experience). Here is a link that has a bit more information about it. As far as other side effects go, heavy bleeding, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and heavy cramping are all possible. Since heavy bleeding is possible, there is also the possibility of needing a blood transfusion (though very rare) depending on the amount of the blood loss. Also, if the medication does not work and you are still pregnant afterwards, there is a high risk of fetal deformities. If the medication does not work, you would have to proceed to an aspiration abortion.

Your doctor would need to talk to you about all of this, so be sure to have any questions ready for him/her when you go in.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
JLeslie's avatar

It is very likely you won’t have side effects like nauseau and headaches. It just depends on the individual. Most people don’t get queezy on penicillin, but a certain percentage do. You will have heavier bleeding than usual. The bleeding lasts a little longer than your period, with spotting that can last for a couple more weeks I think, but doesn’t happen for everyone. Here is Planned Parenthoods step by step info about it.. We have had questions before about this, I will try to find one or two. If you gain weight, which I had not heard of before, it would be temporary, a week maybe, and probably water weight.

Response moderated (Spam)
brimelo's avatar

Everyone, thank you so much for taking time to answer my question, im just very nervous about this whole thing, i’ve read numerous amounts of horror stories, on was a lady taking a shower and the placenta came out and then the baby was attached and you could see the baby and everything, i’m not sure it she was a protestor just trying to scare women or if its true, i just dont want to pass out in my bathroom or have a blood transfusion or anything, i can deal with severe cramps i usually get them on my period anyways. But since im keeping this a secret i would like it if i wouldnt vomit. And i dont want to see the baby, i mean i wouldnt be able to flush it down the toilet nor throw it in a trash. im 5 weeks and i went in for my appointment and i cant take the pill yet because i guess im too early and there is no visual proof on the ultra sound screen, so i cant take it yet. so mabey if its that small or im that early the symptoms wont be so drastic?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
asmonet's avatar

@brimelo: Breathe, relax. Or try to. At five weeks it is not yet a fetus, it is an embryo and only as big as a large sesame seed if that’s not clear, look at your credit card, the height of one of the raised numbers is how big it is.

The horror story you read? Bullshit. You really won’t even know when it goes at least this early in the process.

I have only that to offer, the experience itself I leave to the others to shed light on.

brimelo's avatar

Good golly, Thank you so much. I guess i’m actually 4 weeks and 2 days only, so that makes me even happier. Thank you soo much, that makes things alot easier, i can finally relax!

JLeslie's avatar

@brimelo Not sure if you are 4 weeks from a missed period, or gestational age, fetal age? Either way its true it is very very small. Like a quarter inch or less. Many many women miscarry at this stage and just think they missed a period, never knowing they were pregnant. This happened a lot back when women could not do a pregnancy test at home. A long time ago women used to be told to wait for two missed periods to come in for a pregnancy test.

brimelo's avatar

Well my last period was feb.25 and the doctor told me i conceived march 11. I counted from march 11 and got 4 weeks.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@brimelo The two weeks before you ovulate count as part of the gestational age. That’s why they ask when your last period was. Most doctors would consider you to be 6 weeks pregnant at this time. You should contact the doctor again and ask them when you will be able to get the pills since you should take them before 8 weeks. If you are beyond the 8 weeks, you wouldn’t be able to do the medical abortion and you’d have to have a surgical one instead.

JLeslie's avatar

If you are sure you want to have the abortion, and prefer a medical abortion, take the pills as early as possible. You are still very early. Does your state require a waiting period? I think my state makes a woman wait a week from the time she first asks for the abortion.

brimelo's avatar

I live in Washington, i dont think there is a waiting period, my problem is i went in at 5 weeks and when i did my ultra sound there was no baby, It didn’t show on the monitor. I was freaking out and they took two blood draws a couple days apart to make sure i was atually having a pregnancy. On the 6th my hormones were around 200 and on 8th they more then doubled and were up around 600. My doctor told me i’m probably just very early right now and its not showing. But if they know i’m pregnant why can’t they just give me the pills. I want to do this as early as possible. I already paid my $650. I don’t want to wait any longer.

JLeslie's avatar

@brimelo Not sure. I don’t know enough about abortions. If you were not doubling you would be losing the pregnancy on your own, which happens a lot, and would not need to take the drugs. Mabe that is why they checked the bloodwork?

brimelo's avatar

I did double. She called and told me my pregnancy is going well and normal its just very early and that I’d need to call them back on monday.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll forward the question to someone who has had a few abortions.

brimelo's avatar

Thank you! For helping and all. :)

Seaofclouds's avatar

@brimelo Are they going to check your HCG level again? Generally, nothing will show up on an ultrasound until your HCG is about 1500 – 2000. It is possible that you ovulated later in your cycle and you went in really early at first, but there’s no way at this point to know for sure, but an ultrasound can tell them the age of the embryo once they are able to see it because certain things happen at certain times in development. I’d definitely call on Monday and ask them what the plan is from here.

JLeslie's avatar

I would call Monday too. Maybe they like to confirm it is in the uteris? I don’t know.

brimelo's avatar

To know or sure if im pregnant? I reallly don’t want another blood draw. My doctor mentioned that it is possible that the pregnancy could be an out of uteris pregnancy, she checked for that and she didnt see or feel anything out of the ordinary. I’m really scared about this entire situation, i understadn i put my self in it, but good golly i had no idea it’d be this complicated i was hoping to get the termination over with this week because i have spring break but now i might have to wait till next week and i might have to skip a couple of classes and say im staying after school. Its lies over lies over lies. I’m scared about taking the pill, i really dont want blood clots the size of lemons or cramping so bad that i might vomit.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I can completely understand you being scared. Do you have anyone you trust that you can talk to about this for support? If your spring break is this upcoming week, you should be able to do it this week unless the doctor has some reason he doesn’t want to let you. Just call them on Monday to see what they say.

You are definitely pregnant since your HCG level was above 5 and it doubled. That’s not the question. What you need to ask them is when they will give you the pills and if they need to do another blood draw or ultrasound before they’ll give you the pills. Unfortunately, no matter which process you choose, you may have some bleeding. The doctor should fully discuss how the pills work and what the best timing is for you. Good luck!

brimelo's avatar

Thank you so much. I really can’t talk to anyone about this except my boyfriend who doesnt quite understand haha. So thank you. I will be calling Monday to figure out when i can get the pills. I’ll keep things updated because i know for sure i will be needing some help haha.

JLeslie's avatar

Try not to worry, no matter what you are well within the time you can get an abortion. At least you were responsible enough to find out early. I think Monday you can get all of the answers you need. Sorry you have to go through this. Makes me think they should teach about abortions in sex ed. Goodness knows that will never happen. Maybe get birth control from the clinic afterwards.

brimelo's avatar

They really don’t teaach anything in sex ed. They talk about the diseases you can possibly get and abisinence. They make sex seem like a scary terrible thing, when its natural? They don’t talk about anything though besides those two things and then from that they go to drinking and driving. There puting sex and drinking while under the influence in the same catagory which is astonishing to me. Haha. I was thinking about it, after this whole shpeil is over that i would have a long talk with my mother and finally let her know me and my boyfriend have been dating for a long time and things are getting serious. Then maybe she could take me to planned parenthood get on the pill and patch things up. My mother and I have always been very close upto the point where i started having sex with mu boyfriend, it’s not something easy to talk about it and it will be awkward for a bit but im hoping things will be put all back together.

JLeslie's avatar

@brimelo is your mom prochoice? If I had become pregnant my mom would have rushed me over to the abortion line. If you feel you can tell her I suggest you do. She can take some of the burden off of you. She can ask her friends who have had abortions what happens.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@brimelo Definitely talk to your mom sooner rather than later. It may be a hard conversation, but it’s definitely something you should do. Hopefully it’ll all work out for the best in the long run. Good luck!

JLeslie's avatar

Also, if you chicken out of talking to your mom Planned Parenthood will help you get birth control even without her. I know a few girls who told their mom after their abortion that they had one, and their moms wished they could have helped them through it. I told my mom when I became sexually active and she helped me get birth control.

Everything will work out.

casheroo's avatar

I’ve had two medical abortions (no surgical ones).
I will tell you, it freaking hurt. It was like a really bad period. I have had natural miscarriages prior, and one child (I’ve been pregnant a total of 7 times, I have two kids, two abortions and 3 miscarriages overall)
I’d say the second time was worse, only because it was close to my first abortion (yeah, I was actually THAT dumb to think I couldn’t get pregnant right away and guess what, you are SUPER fertile after an abortion so hold off on sex or get birth control lined up.)

I took the first pill at the office, it did make me feel a little sick to my stomach, I ate crackers and drank water. I know you take the next pill within I believe 24 or 48 hours, and I took mine on a Saturday and woke up on Sunday bleeding in bed, I had a lot of bleeding…thin regular period blood. Then it got thicker. I used a heating pad, and the pain meds they gave me (Planned Parenthood will give you Tylenol 3’s, they’re stronger, they have codeine in them)
I just rested and changed my pad a lot (you cannot use a tampon for six weeks, because your cervix opens and it can get an infection easily)
The second time I did it, I had massive amount of bleeding, and almost needed a transfusion (which was scary given we had no health insurance, but Planned Parenthood saw me as soon as I called…I had been to the dentist and the dentist told me I needed to go back to PP immediately because they could tell I was anemic from blood loss.) I ate lots of iron rich foods, got my iron checked multiple times at PP, they watched me carefully to make sure I’d be alright. I did pass a very large clot that time, it was greyish and totally freaked me out.

All in all, I’m glad I did it because it was right for me and my family, we were not prepared for another child at that point. If you need it do not be scared because of “horror stories”, can you imagine giving birth and raising a child instead? Trust me, an abortion is a walk in a park compared to that. Good luck!

brimelo's avatar

Thank you that reallly does help i love all this support. I really do, so thank you.I’m really thinking of ways to tell my mother. I could really use her support. Can you get pregnant again if your already pregnant? If i were to have sex now what would happen?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@brimelo You can’t get pregnant again while pregnant since your body doesn’t allow you to ovulate while pregnant. Sex now would just be sex. Once you are no longer pregnant though, you may be super fertile.

JLeslie's avatar

@brimelo Its true, you cannot get pregnant while you are pregnant. But, I wanted to say that you should assume you are super fertile when you are not pregnant, whether it is right after the abortion, or a year from now. The saying I use is, “if you are not preventing, it is the same as trying to get pregnant.” Leaving it up to chance is almost asking to get pregnant.

Let us know if you talk to your mom, and how it goes. Maybe just tell her what happened, and that you have already gone for blood tests, that you tried to be responsible now that you have made this mistake, but feel overwhelmed and want her help. Good luck.

brimelo's avatar

i will let you know if i do decide to talk to her. It may be sometime soon or maybe months from now. I’m just hoping i can do it sooner than later. I’m not having sex for awhile, but we all know how it happens, and just i case something does happen i want to be sure, but me and my boyfriend already agreed that we will save sex for when we’re older and ready to handle any accidents.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@brimelo Good for you thinking about your future and the consequences of sex. I do hope you find the strength to talk to your mom about all of this at some point. Did you happen to talk to the doctor any today and find out anything in regards to the pills?

brimelo's avatar

YES! I called today, and my appointment for tthe pills will be friday at 2:45 my boyfriend is going to pick me up during lunch and we will go out and eat and then got o planned parent hood and all, my doctor said that my pregnancy is going well and that i am at about 6 weeks.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Good luck! I hope everything works out for you!

brimelo's avatar

Me too, thank you :) I will keep everything posted. :)

brimelo's avatar

Ok, so today i went in and everything went as planned i got my finger poked and another ultrasound and the baby is there. I’m five weeks and five days today by the way. So i was only there for about an hour and i got the first pill and i took it they gave me perscriptions to get the ibuprofen and anti-nausia pills and some other things. So far everything is fine, i’ll be taking the four other pills tomorrow at three and i’ll let you all know how that goes. My boyfriend and I realized its going to take along time to pay back my friend her 650 dollars plus like another hundred we couldnt pay her back because of other expenses due to having to come in multiple times at planned parenthood. So we went to DSHS and the ladies that worked there are truly wonderful! They were closed but were willnig to still help us out and we got the medical coupon and they are going to take care of all the medical expenses and we will get a refund. So my boyfriend and I can pay back my friend and have about 100 bucks and we can go to applebess, so i feel pretty great, all the i’m in debt already feeling is all gone and i feel fine :)

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for updating us. What is DSHS? And, are you saying you will be $100 ahead at the end of all of this? I hope that is not the case.

brimelo's avatar

DSHS is some medical thing you can apply for and they will pay for any medical thing, like dental or eye glasses or in my case this terminaion. Here is the story. My friend had 650 dollars so she lent it to me for the abortion. I also had to pay 31 dollars for a second blood draw. Then yesterday i had to pay another like 100 dollars for the multiple visits. So the lovely ladies at planned parenthood advised me to go to DSHS where they can give you a medical coupon and they will pay for everything and continue to pay for birthcontrol or anything else and i will be getting all the money i put back in, back. So i’m not longer in debt and i can pay my friend her 650 dollars back. It’s really a great program took my boyfriend and I about 10 minutes to apply and get our card, it was really great.

JLeslie's avatar

@brimelo I see. Well, I am very glad that financial help was out there for you. I assume it is from private donations. Maybe when you are older you will be able to pay them back so they can help another girl. It was really nice of your friend to lend you the money also. That is a lot of money for a young person.

Hope you are still doing ok.

brimelo's avatar

Yes it is alot of money, and DSHS is through the government, but i will see if they will allow me to over time pay them back, I took four of the pills yesterday at 3 pm. Right after i swolled them at 3:30 (because they are suppose to dissolve first) I righ away felt cramping, it was NOT EXCRUSHIATING. I could handle it, i think any woman could, i mean if i could, the biggest baby in the world, i’m sure any other woman could. There wasnt much blood i kept checking waiting for this horrendous ammount of blood and clots but nothing just a little spottting so after drinking tons a gatorade and making pasta for my boyfriend and I (see it wasn’t too bad, i could still go about my day) it was about around 8 pm that the blood started showing more and more, my family and I went out to Ihop and when we finished eating i got up to go to the bathroom and there were most def. large clots. Though they weren’t the size of lemons, yet. There were certain times of the day where the cramps were a little over whelming but not too bad, my expectations were completly off. When we took my boyfriend home and got back to my house, i took a shower because the blood was heavy and unfortunetly went through my jeans and pad (sorry if im too grafic ]: ) so in the shower i was getting kind of light headed because of all the clots and blood everywhere and the ibprofen had worn off already, then came along the lemon sized clots and it wasa bit uncomfortable when they passed through, not like pain uncomfortablejust a weird feeling. I started getting dizzy and hurried up my shower got into bed took my pills and fell asleep fine, there are still some clots this morning but the blood did not pass through my clothes last night, so the blood has minimized. I have no cramps right now i’m doing fine. If anyone has any questions please ask away :) i’d be glad to answer any quiestions everything is very fresh considering the fact that it was yesterday. Oh, and emotionally i feel fine, but horrified thought of an abortion are long gone my boyfriend has been very supportive and i think we are going to get through this fine. :)

casheroo's avatar

@brimelo Glad it’s all working out for you. I’m shocked at the cost at PP. I got financial assistance at mine, it was still over 100, but not the 350 it originally was supposed to be, they just asked my income and went off of that. Glad you got financial assistance though!

JLeslie's avatar

@brimelo Oh, maybe it is local government, that’s great anyway that there is financial assistance. I didn’t mean you have to pay it right back immediately, but just a pay it forward type thing one day. I’m glad your coming through it ok. It will be over soon.

brimelo's avatar

It was originally 650 but with all the additional visits and stuff that i hd to do it was almost like 900 dollars. pretty scary stuff ):
I would most def. pay it forward in the future when i am financially able, i’m so thankful for what everyone had been doing to help me, people that don’t even know me are helping with what they can, like a secretary at PP gave me a curtesy discount and i just thought that was the sweetest thing and when i told her i got DSHS she was just so happy and she told everyone in the clinic haha, precious.
I hope this is all over soon, i really do, i want this to be behind me and i want to move on in my life, i know maybe a month from now i will have some emotional issues, but i think i can handle it. I’m just soo glad this is over with, that i caught it early enough and that i had a friend to pay it right then and there and that i got finacial help right away to pay her back and ah, just so blessed.

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