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  • Writer's pictureAlana, RN

Does the abortion pill hurt?

Well, yes. It can. But let me explain why.

First of all, you need to understand how the pill works. The first pill breaks down the connection between the baby and the mother. The second medication causes intense cramps that cause the cervix to dilate so that you can expel the baby and all the tissue surrounding the baby causing heavy bleeding for several days. Other side effects can include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, chills, dizziness, diarrhea, and headache. In some cases, excessive bleeding may require blood transfusions, treatment with medication, or surgery. These medications differ from emergency contraceptives like plan B.

Let's talk about some things you can do before taking the pill to ensure you are safe and healthy:

  1. Have access to the pill provider. You must ensure that you have access to the doctor who orders this medication. Suppose you have any adverse reactions, uncontrollable bleeding, or signs and symptoms of severe infection. In that case, you will need to be seen by the doctor who wrote the prescription.

  2. Have a conclusive ultrasound 24 hours before taking the medication. This will ensure that you have an intrauterine pregnancy. If the pregnancy is outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy), it can cause irreparable damage if not recognized and treated as soon as possible. The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy and taking the abortion medication are very similar, and you risk missing this life-threatening diagnosis if you choose to skip the ultrasound.

  3. Get Tested. Because the second pill causes cervical dilation, any STD that you have at the time can migrate into your female genital tract. Infections or diseases in the genital tract can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, possible ectopic pregnancies in the future, scar tissue, chronic pain, and a myriad of other problems.

So there's the long answer. The short answer is yes; it will most likely hurt. But there are things you can do first to keep yourself safe and healthy.

We offer free ultrasounds and STD testing before you take the first pill.

US Food and Drug Administration. Mifeprex Medication Guide. 2016.

Texas Medical Disclosure Panel. (2016) List A, Procedures Requiring Full Disclosure of Specific Risks and Hazards, #13 (Surgical abortion/dilation and curettage/dilation and evacuation) and 14 Medical abortion/non-surgical. Available from:


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