Medical abortion (the abortion pill)
At your consultation we will explain everything you need to know about medical abortion (the abortion pill) in as much detail as you need. This page is designed to give you a brief overview of what medical abortion involves. Further information can be found in our Abortion your questions answered booklet
and if you have any further questions please call us at anytime on 0845 300 8090.
A step by step guide to medical abortion at Marie Stopes International
After an appointment has been made for you at a Marie Stopes clinic, the first step is a consultation where you will see a nurse or doctor. During the consultation your abortion treatment options will be discussed and you will be asked about your medical history. You will also be given a scan to assess how many weeks pregnant you are, and your reasons for seeking an abortion will be explored. You can choose to have your consultation on the same day as your first treatment or you can choose to have a telephone consultation before your visit to the clinic if you would prefer.
Medical abortion treatment
Medical abortion or the abortion pill (also known as ‘early abortion’) is an alternative to surgical abortion and is available before nine weeks of pregnancy at Marie Stopes International. This type of abortion means taking two sets of pills (orally) over two visits (this can be on the same day or separate days) which causes the passing of the pregnancy.
You may experience discomfort, very strong cramps and heavy bleeding with medical abortion (the abortion pill). This normally lasts for a few days until the pregnancy has passed. At Marie Stopes International we have a 24 hour abortion aftercare helpline on 0845 122 1441, which offers support and advice to women after the abortion pill.
The abortion starts within four to five hours after taking the second set of tablets and is usually completed within one to two days of taking the tablets. Very occasionally it can take up to two weeks to pass the pregnancy.
Visit 1: During your first visit you will have your consultation, be given your first tablet and an appointment will be made for you to return to the clinic (either later that day or at some point over the next 48 hours) for the second set of tablets.
Visit 2: During your second visit you will take your second set of tablets and will be given detailed aftercare advice and information.
Two different types of medication are used for medical abortion at Marie Stopes International, Mifegynae and Misoprostol which have been found to be effective in causing a pregnancy to pass.
Not all women are suitable for medical abortion and you will not be able to choose this method if you:
• Are over 35 and smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day
• Have a suspected ectopic pregnancy
• Have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease
• Are taking long term anti corticosteroids
• Have an IUD in place which will not be removed
• Have adrenal failure
• Are taking anti-coagulants or have any hemorrhagic disease or porphyria
• Have a poorly controlled inflammatory bowel disease
The failure rate for early medical abortion is between 2 to 3% (2-3 women out of 100)
Before you leave a Marie Stopes clinic after your second visit a team member will check how you are feeling and talk you through any specific aftercare information that you need to know. You will also be given a booklet with aftercare information in to take away with you and it is important that you read this. Should you have any worries or concerns about anything after your abortion treatment please call our specialist nurse advisors on 0845 122 1441 who will be on hand to offer advice and support 24 hours.
For more information or for help with early abortion at Marie Stopes International call 0845 300 8090 24 hours