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Side effects of medical abortion ? cramps, bleeding, etc.?

Ok so I have an appointment tom for the first step of my medical abortion. I have mixed feelings regarding medical vs. surgical due to being a health care provider. While I know that the surgical abortion has less after affect I have chosen the medical due to the benefits (able to be at my own home).

I have read all of the posts so far re medical abortions and side effects directly after, but I would like some information on the weeks after, like how long did the bleeding last, were the cramps continual or just mostly the first 24 hours and so on.

I would appriciate any advise regarding what to expect, also this is my choice and while I understand everyone has opinions if yours is not in agreement then I do not need your advice.

Jen Confused
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replied November 29th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
I work in an aboriton clinic, a more private clinic, and I am a healthcare professional Smile

Medical abortion causes GUSHY blood, and you bleed for 9-21 days after a medical abortion.

In general, medical abortion has more bleeding than surgical abortion does, which is typical.

You will crampy very hard for 4-8 hours, and then it will lighten up considerably.
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replied October 10th, 2008
medical abortion
I had opted for the medical procedure because of the privacy it offered. I must say though if you are sensitive to medication be careful. 20 minutes after taking the second set of pills I was so ill I felt like I was going to die. I was throwing up, bleeding heavily, having contractions. It went on for about 8 hours. The second day was mild in comparison but I still did not feel well. Cramping stays for a while and the bleeding is continuous. But the vomiting and nausea seemed to be side effects of the medication itself. *( which is bad for the stomach ,that is why they have you put it in your cheeks to dissolve) Now having gone through this I would have chosen the surgical option instead. Being that sick is more traumatizing then anything I have ever done.
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replied March 18th, 2009
just had medical abortion
last Friday i had a medical abortion and i still seem to have pain in my lower part of my belly is this normal? im still bleeding and haven't had any clots since that Saturday morning.
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replied April 2nd, 2009
i had one on my 18th birthday
and it was sore for about 3 hours , felt like VERY bad cramps just like a period , i passed the pregnacy in about 2 hours, and the pain just dissapeared , maybe i was lucky in that sense.
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replied May 11th, 2010
Medical Abortion Experience
I was 5 weeks pregnant. The effects that I got was similar to gabbygoo, within 10-15 mins of taking second dose of tablets It had hit me, really bad contracting cramps felt like I had been stabbed and was going to die. This went on for about 2 Hours. I had dosed myself up on painkillars to stop the pain. I didnt vomit but felt like I was going too and went white as a ghost within that time. Majority of Pregnancy passed within 4 Hours but the next 4-5 days still had on & off cramps but was bareable like a normal period. Now looking back I probably would have preferred surgical just because the pain and constant bleeding.
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replied January 17th, 2011
my experience
I wanted to write about my experience because while I went through it I couldn't stop reading about it. I'd like to start by saying I was always opposed to abortions, but we never know the situation we may be put in therefore, we musn't judge.
After taking the first pill (Mifepristone) I felt nothing. The following day, I took the second pill ,misoprostol, and shortly after had VERY bad cramps. They suggested I take Motrin 30 minutes before taking misoprostol (second pill). I would suggest, from my experience, taking the pain reliever before, because I don't believe it had kicked in by the time the cramps began. I was very nauseas; I had severe vomiting (the food had been vomited, and my body was still forcing more vomiting). I also had mild diarrhea. I called the clinic and they said it was OK that I was vomiting because I had let the pills dissolve under my tongue (as opposed to swallowing it or the other forms of ingesting the pill). This severe reaction lasted maybe 40 minutes. The cramps continued for about 3 days, not as bad as they were at first.
I bled for 3 weeks and had mild and occasional cramping. The heavy bleeding began on the second week, which I read was abnormal, but the Doctor said that was fine. I did an ultra sound 12 days after the procedure began, and the doctor said there was a clump of blood left, so he gave me a few more misoprostol pills (second pill). This time I just swallowed them, as instructed, instead of letting them dissolve under my tongue. Again, Very mild and occasional cramps this time.
It's been about 2 months now, and I don't feel as if it happen to me. I've spoken to someone who had a vacuum abortion and she also says it doesn't feel as though it happen to her either.
I don't want to disregard my irresponsible behavior, but I also don't want to force guilt upon myself. I learned my lesson.
Good luck to all, stay healthy and responsible. Hope this was helpful.
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replied May 15th, 2011
after medical abortion bleeding cramping pain
I hope this post helps other women. I had a medical abortion on April 30, 2011 (Sat). First, don't take any Motrin or Ibuprofen until after you start bleeding. I took 800mg 1/2 an hour after taking the second pill as was stated in my written instructions. The cramping stopped but there was very little bleeding until Monday when I was at work! I started bleeding & clotting heavily and had to go home. I passed one very large clot as soon as I got home. I called the clinic and they said that my abortion was delayed because I had taken the Iburpofen before I started bleeding. Wish someone had told me that.

I bled pretty heavily and had miserable cramps for almost two weeks. The bleeding and cramping finally lessened on May 14. There was abdominal pain, pain in my inner thights and back. Three times cramping and bleeding woke me out of a sound sleep during the night. I did not get the impression that the after effects would be that bad from the literature and videos I received. I definitely thought that after the initial bout with bleeding and cramping all would be pretty much minimal. Not so! I was absoloutely miserable for almost two weeks - clotting, painful cramping, bleeding, extreme breast pain, bloating. I had to go home early from work two other days because I just couldn't stand it. My breasts were nore sore, but actually painful to the touch. In the mornings I could even feel it into my armpits. Keeping my bra on even when I slept helped. Twice I became so frustrated that it wasn't stopping that i burst into tears. I think that the random crying might have been hormonal; it's not my normal behavior.

I researched a lot online because I started to panic and I found a clinic from Canada that described symptoms closer to what I was experiencing than any other site I had visited. (Morgentaler Clinic). I called my clinic several times, very nervous, but was told what I was experiencing was in normal range. Staying off my feet, a heating pad on my tummy and rest helped. Definitely don't try to do anything strenuous. It's now day 14 and I still am bleeding lightly and have light cramping. My lower belly is still sore and a bit bloated, but it's tolerable. I do not regret my decision to end my pregnancy, but I wish someone would have given me a heads up about how horrible I would feel for quite some time after. My experience was quite different and more severe than I understood it would be from the videos and literature I received. Hope this helps other ladies from panicking and give you an idea of what you may experience.
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replied October 26th, 2011
hi, what month's while you do this abortion...?
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replied October 25th, 2011
Yes I agree. The info the clinics publish is very misleading. I suppose some women have it as easy as they descibe in the literature, but many others do not. I bled on and off for 6 weeks before it finally stopped. I cramped on & off for almost 3 weeks. Another detail they also fail to mention is that it can take 6 months to 2 years for your body's hormones to go back to the way they were before the abortion. This means you will have symptoms that were not normal for you before the abortion. For exampe, many women exp pregnancy symptoms like constipation, nausea, nipple tenderness, etc in the week or so before each menstral period begins. This can last up to 2 years. I think it would be very helpful if the clinics were more honest and detailed regarding the after effects of abortion. It would help women to be better prepared and prevent alot of unnecessary worry.
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replied October 25th, 2011
Yes I agree. The info the clinics publish is very misleading. I suppose some women have it as easy as they descibe in the literature, but many others do not. I bled on and off for 6 weeks before it finally stopped. I cramped on & off for almost 3 weeks. Another detail they also fail to mention is that it can take 6 months to 2 years for your body's hormones to go back to the way they were before the abortion. This means you will have symptoms that were not normal for you before the abortion. For exampe, many women exp pregnancy symptoms like constipation, nausea, nipple tenderness, etc in the week or so before each menstral period begins. This can last up to 2 years. I think it would be very helpful if the clinics were more honest and detailed regarding the after effects of abortion. It would help women to be better prepared and prevent alot of unnecessary worry.
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replied April 12th, 2012
After reading your posts and others like it I feel I must share my experience. I had a medical abortion 3 days ago, 3 days ago i took the first pill, 2 days ago I took the seconds set of pills. I was extremely nervous taking each. After the first pill - I was totally fine which was a relief but I think this made me more nervous because I knew the second set must be super bad. I arrived at the clinic that morning. Placed the pills on the inside of my cheeks. The doctor was very calming and nice. She explained the pain may get very bad and suggested I take pain killers as soon as I had eaten (I was having morning sickness so had not eaten breakfast when I had seen her). She gave me 3 sets of pankillers, panadol, diclofenac and codeine. She also gave me nausea pills. I did as suggested and swallowed 2 panadol and a diclofenac when I had had some food - 15 minutes later I throw up so I figured the painkillers prob wouldn't work. I waited. About an hour and a half I had some mild cramps and light bleeding. An hour later I was still waiting on the severe pain. I had mild diarrhea. 5 hours after taking the pills the cramping pain increased slightly and I passed something that felt more substantial than a clot, following this I felt dizzy like I was going to faint and lay down.I had more mild waves of cramps and was very tired. I fell asleep for about an hour and a half. I am still lightly bleeding but this is has severe as it got. I had no need for the pain killers. Feeling sick and dizzy with mild cramps was as bad as it got. I stayed relaxed with a hot water bottle for my back and front with my boyfriend getting me anything I wanted. This was no where near as bad as some people have experienced so I consider myself very lucky and the point I would like to get across is everyone will experience this completely differently, we all react very different to the medication. The most terrifying thing for me was expecting and waiting to have a similar experience to what the posts described. This was not the case at all - prehaps there are more people who have had experiences like mine but have not had teh need to write them on forums as they don't feel so misled. If the doctors are giving you painkillers they are preparing you for pain. It is not an easy decision or experience for any of us and I am sorry to read the bad experiences others have had but there are some ok experiences out there too. The surgical abortion can have more risks as the medical abortion is a more natural process for your body to go through so keep in mind we all experience it differently. Hope this helps others.
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replied April 30th, 2012
I notice a lot of bad experiences on here with the medical abortion. I thought I would share my story with everybody so women who are considering the medical abortion can see both sides. I had my medical abortion at 5 weeks pregnant about 3 weeks ago. After taking the second set of pills, the bleeding started within 2 hours. The cramps were up and down. At times they could be really intense and then other times they would feel like normal cramps. The intense cramps were more then the mild ones. But a heating pad and mild pain killers seemed to dull the pain enough to deal with it. The bleeding was pretty severe with large golf ball sized clots. I could also feel when ever there was a clot to come out. After 6 hours, maybe even a little less everything had passed. Sadly in my experience I saw the proof in the toilet. That was unpleasant, but I had no choice but to look because I had to watch the size of the clots. Once everything passed the bleeding lightened up to a normal type period. That bleeding only lasted for about 3 or 4 days. Once the bleedig stopped I started my birth control as directed. Now going on the 4th week after I am startig to get some cramping. First I started to get brown discharge then light period dark blood. According to my birth control I have one more week until my period is supposed to come. I figure I am starting my period early because of any excess tissue that may not have come out during the abortion. But all in all the experience was not a horror show like it has been for others. I know that everybody is different. I also know that the earlier the pregnancy the easier it will go. Less cramping and pain I assume. So I would suggest the medical abortion for anyone that is 6 weeks or under. At least then you get to deal with the horrible ordeal with a loved one in the comfort of your own home. Good luck to whom ever has to go through such a crappy thing. 1 last quick suggestion. Allow yourself to grieve. Do not let it bottle up inside of you because eventaully you will crack. Talk with your loved ones and keep busy.
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replied April 30th, 2012
5 weeks
I notice a lot of bad experiences on here with the medical abortion. I thought I would share my story with everybody so women who are considering the medical abortion can see both sides. I had my medical abortion at 5 weeks pregnant about 3 weeks ago. After taking the second set of pills, the bleeding started within 2 hours. The cramps were up and down. At times they could be really intense and then other times they would feel like normal cramps. The intense cramps were more then the mild ones. But a heating pad and mild pain killers seemed to dull the pain enough to deal with it. The bleeding was pretty severe with large golf ball sized clots. I could also feel when ever there was a clot to come out. After 6 hours, maybe even a little less everything had passed. Sadly in my experience I saw the proof in the toilet. That was unpleasant, but I had no choice but to look because I had to watch the size of the clots. Once everything passed the bleeding lightened up to a normal type period. That bleeding only lasted for about 3 or 4 days. Once the bleedig stopped I started my birth control as directed. Now going on the 4th week after I am startig to get some cramping. First I started to get brown discharge then light period dark blood. According to my birth control I have one more week until my period is supposed to come. I figure I am starting my period early because of any excess tissue that may not have come out during the abortion. But all in all the experience was not a horror show like it has been for others. I know that everybody is different. I also know that the earlier the pregnancy the easier it will go. Less cramping and pain I assume. So I would suggest the medical abortion for anyone that is 6 weeks or under. At least then you get to deal with the horrible ordeal with a loved one in the comfort of your own home. Good luck to whom ever has to go through such a crappy thing. 1 last quick suggestion. Allow yourself to grieve. Do not let it bottle up inside of you because eventaully you will crack. Talk with your loved ones and keep busy.
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replied May 25th, 2012
i had a medical abortion on 1st of dec 2010 and yes i vomitted, shivered and had several loose motions with the sight of the tissue( you feel like its your baby going and you cant help it ) but it all stayed only for 1-1 and half hour of taking up the second set of pills. but it is essential that you must take rest and please dont be alone at home so that some one can make tea and some bread butter for you. nutritious food must be started immediatly once you are in your bed with the tampons on, vomitting over and motions a bit relieved. dont do any heavy work for 2 weeks from the start of bleeding and avoid very heavy work until you have your normal period cycle on as heavy work will prolong your bleeding. lots and lots of healthy food must be taken you must let yourself enjoy watch TV, call frends and do whatever you love. i m not sure about which one (medical or surgical )is better but i had medical abortion twice in the gap of five months and the second time i am bleeding more and waiting fo it to get finished these days. but yes the second time as i knew whats goin to happen evrerything was a little less severe. and please medical abortions are not a ghost and i pray evryone going through them should become normal at the earliest.
best wishes to all
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replied June 21st, 2012
During my abortion ordeal (from start to positive final check-up, it was two months), I showed specific symptoms that scared me. Periodically, I would lose lots of blood, and feared that something just wasn't right. I became very paranoid, checking my temperature often for infection and was worried that I had an infection enter my bloodstream. I'm about 3 months past the abortion now. I want to share my story in the event that someone is going through the same and help decrease anxiety.

To begin, my husband and I made the decision to abort, which part of me somewhat regrets, as it is due to selfishness on my part with my career. This hit me even more so later when I passed a large sac-like clot. I'll admit that I don't focus on this much nowadays, but I do have some guilt with it when I think about it. The guilt during the ordeal also had a negative psychological affect, which likely added to my physiological responses. I'm sure I'll have added guilt when I decide to get pregnant in the future.

The day I took the pill, I went through extreme nausea and cramps that made me keel over. I had to lay on the bathroom floor because I was so feverish and needed to be near the toilet for the repeated vomitting. Unfortunately, I think this is fairly normal. After about an hour, this extreme sickness passed and I had moderate cramps. Blood began flowing after a few hours. It was fairly light at first, becoming heavier the next day, like a heavy period. I started passing large clots and one item that to me looked like a sac. It was psychologically a bit hard to see this, I admit. You may think it won't be, but it probably will inflict some guilt and regret. Perhaps more so for me, because we're would have been able to support a child financially and lovingly.

Due to seeing this large sac and the heavy blood flow, I figured all was working to plan. I stopped bleeding after about 4-5 days. I went to my follow-up appointment about a week later and the doctor had bad news for me -- my abortion was incomplete. The ultrasound showed a LOT of tissue still left inside me. This I couldn't believe given how much I bled and how many clots I passed during those 4-5 days. He told me I had to take the pill dosage again -- which I absolutely hated hearing given how much pain I was in when I first took it. He told me the pain wouldn't be as bad this time.

It wasn't as bad the second time around -- I don't think I vomitted this round, but I did get some bad cramps. After a few hours the bleeding began again, and again it was moderate to heavy. I passed some large clots and it tapered off around day 4. Other than checking for days and worrying about infection (I was convinced the worst case scenario would happen to me and I'd get an blood infection and die, as if God would punish me), I felt fine. After a week I started to move on from this experience. I (foolishly) skipped my follow-up appointment, figuring that dosage was enough given all the blood I passed.

About three weeks went by -- and one night I started bleeding lightly, like the first sign of a period. The next day, it was like a faucet. It was the heaviest bleeding I have ever experienced. I couldn't go to work. I would sit for an hour and feel the blood begin to pool and as soon as I would stand up, it would gush out of me, completely drenching all pads with bright red blood and some very thick mucus and clots. I was very, very scared. So scared I called the hotline and explained how much blood it was. The woman told me that unless I was soaking two pads an hour, it was okay. I was soaking more than two pads per hour each time I stood up! I couldn't even use that calculation because every time I stood, it was like a bucket pouring out of me. She told me to take Motrin and give it a day and if it continued to go to the ER. I gave it a day and scheduled a follow-up appointment for the earliest available appt, a few days later.

After this horrid two day incident, the blood tapered down again and it was darker blood, as if it was old (which is what the doctor later told me). I went in for the new ultrasound, and the verdict was I STILL had not gotten rid of all the tissue. Despite the massive amount of blood and clots, there was some remaining and the doctor scheduled me for the D&C a week later. He told me it was important to get it out of me to prevent infection.

A few days later, I was still having dark, almost black, residual blood. Then one day, i felt a cramping in my stomach and shortly thereafter passed what I can only describe as what looked to be like a very large blackberry.

A few days later I went in to get the dreaded D&C, and good thing they did one more ultrasound, as this was completely clear, and showed that I had passed that remaining last bit of tissue.

I just want to reassure those who are panicking about infection, blood loss, etc. I thought my blood loss was surely hemorrhage (and perhaps some of it was), but I survived. Obviously if you feel faint (I never did), then go the the ER, but expect heavy, heavy bleeding. Expect awful nausea and awful cramping. The doctor later told me I bled so much likely b/c the body was trying to shed that stuck tissue and was creating blood flow (new blood is bright red) in an attempt to do so. Had I not passed it, I would have just kept bleeding. Also, don't be like me and think all is well -- always go to the follow-up to be cleared 100%.
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replied July 19th, 2012
I too had a medical abortion i was sick throwing up but the cramping never got that bad for me maybe cause I slept through most of it. the process was maybe 4 days long...10 days after the abortion pill I had sex this was after my follow up visit when i was told everything was cleared. I had sex the week after the inital intake of the pills but did not bleed. So I figured sex was fine. The doctor did tell me to wait 2 more weeks so I can let the birthcontrol kick in to avoid becoming pregnant again. But stupidity I had sex that evening after the follow up. I started bleeding within 30 mins It was like a Preety heavy period I was passing clots as well not so big though but they were there everytime I went to the bathroom.I did not have cramping or a fever. This bleeding and clotting lasted for 2 days....and lighten up within a week. Once again after that. I had sex but this was more like a light period no clotting lasted about 5 days. I was wondering If that could been hemorrhaging or something too be concerned about. As I do wish to have kids in the future, feeling preety ashamed of myself. I'm thinking I had sex too soon and maybe caused damage. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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replied April 4th, 2013
I took my second lot of pills this morning and before they had even finished dissolving I started experiencing some cramping. About an hour into it, the cramps got quite severe but I found a hot water bottle helped. I also took ibprofen 45 mins before I took the second lot of tablets. It's been about 8 hours now and I've had some heavy bleeding, I passed a couple of clots but I'm not sure if it was the pregnancy as I had diarrhea as well so I couldn't see the clots. I still have some mild to strong cramping and some heavy bleeding that gushes out when I go to the toilet. I think it gushes because I have spent a majority of the day laying down. I'm not sure if I have passed the pregnancy and am wondering how much longer the heavy bleeding and strong cramping will last. I have no other symptoms at this stage other than the diarrhea a couple of hours after I took the tablets. Does anyone know how long the heavy bleeding and cramping is likely to last?
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