Early Abortion Frequently Asked Questions

Early Abortion Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better?

The abortion pill and Manual Vacuum Aspiration are  equally safe and effective. It’s more a matter of your own personality. Many women choose the abortion pill because they feel like it’s more natural. They don’t mind the extra visits. On the other hand, many women choose the Manual Aspiration procedure because they want to have it be done that day. Surgical abortion is a very safe procedure. However, in early pregnancy, surgical abortion can be overly invasive by utilizing tools like an electric vacuum and a “curette”-an instrument used to scrape the walls of the uterus. Most women are happy with whichever method they choose.

Unfortunately, for many women in the United States only the surgical abortion method will be offered.

How soon can I start birth control?

Most birth control can be started the day of your visit or very shortly after. You would need to set up an additional visit for a diaphragm, cervical cap, or IUD. It can be beneficial to begin a birth control regimen right after an abortion. It can help to regulate your menstrual cycle and protect against an unwanted pregnancy.

When can I have sex again?

You should wait three days after taking the second set of pills before putting anything in your vagina.

We recommend that you wait two days after the Manual Aspiration procedure before putting anything in your vagina.

Most abortion clinics will recommend waiting 2-6 weeks after a surgical abortion before putting anything in your vagina.

Common Questions

Abortion Pill
Manual Aspiration Procedure
How far along in the pregnancy can I be?
Up to 9 weeks (63 days) from the first day of your last menstrual period. An ultrasound will be done to confirm that you are early.
Up to 9-10 weeks from your last menstrual period. An ultrasound will be done to confirm that you are early.
How long does it take?
Usually 2 visits to our office. You take one pill when you’re in the office. After that you usually don’t feel any different. You take another set of pills at home. Those pills cause you to have an early miscarriage at home. This usually happens within hours of taking the second pills, but sometimes it can take longer. You must come back for a follow up visit.
One visit to the provider. The procedure takes 3-10 minutes. A follow up visit is scheduled only as needed.
Will I have to miss work?
No. We will talk with you about how to plan to take the second set of pills.
No. Usually you feel back to normal within 15 minutes of the procedure.
How does it work?
The first pill blocks pregnancy hormones from acting on your uterus. This stops the pregnancy from growing. The second pill causes the cervix (opening to the uterus) to dilate, and causes the uterus to contract, so that the pregnancy is expelled.
Most women say it’s better than they expected. You will have mild to strong cramps that usually last 3-5 minutes. You don’t need to be put to sleep. The cramps really aren’t that bad and they only last a few minutes. It’s safer to do it awake.
How painful is it?
Most women say the miscarriage part is better than they expected. You usually have mild or moderate cramps for several hours. You will get pain medicines to help.
The bleeding is usually heavier than a period for the first few hours; then becomes like a period, then stops and starts. The spotting or irregular bleeding can last for weeks to months and is normal.
How much will I bleed?
Minor complications that are able to be treated in the doctor’s office.
Minor complications that can be treated in the doctor’s office; extremely rare major complications have occurred.
What will I see?
If you are early enough to take the RU486 pill, it is unlikely you would see an embryo – it is not yet formed. When you have the miscarriage, you will mostly see blood, clots, a whitish tissue that is lining your uterus (like wet paper towel).
We will show you the ultrasound, if you want to see it. During the procedure, you will not see anything, if you choose. An embryo cannot be seen until you have missed at least two periods. At that point the pregnancy is about the size of a pea, and the embryo is not formed.
What if it doesn’t work?
It can fail 1-2 times out of 100. If it doesn’t work, you can try the pill a second time, or get the Manual Aspiration procedure. There is no added cost.
We make sure to see that it’s complete before you leave the office. If you are too early to see anything, you will need to get a blood test and come back for a follow up.
Is it safe?
The medicines are safe. Complications are very rare. There is no problem getting pregnant in the future.
It is very safe. The doctor will talk with you about rare complications. There is no problem with getting pregnant in the future.