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Medical Abortion

You may experience

  • Heavy bleeding (excessive bleeding requiring surgical abortion or blood transfusion 1 in 300)
  • Cramping
  • Significant pain (9 out of 10 may feel this)
  • Feel faint, dizzy or have chills
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea (2 in 5 may experience)
  • Vomiting (1 in 5 may experience)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Distress - can occur with the passing of the baby
  • Risk of infection (up to 1 in 20)
  • Continuation of pregnancy (up to 1 in 30 may require a repeat medical or surgical abortion)
  • Risk of death (1 in 100,000)
  • Failure to get pregnant again (1 in every 100 pregnancies)

This can be done in the first 9 weeks (63 days) of pregnancy by taking medicines

It takes place at home, but pills are usually given at the clinic or pharmacy.

  • The first medicine is called Mifepristone - this blocks the hormone necessary for the baby (embryo) to stay alive and breaks down the lining of the uterus.
  • The second medicine called Misoprostol (Prostaglandin) opens the cervix and causes the uterus to contract and expel the baby.
  • In 90% of cases the baby will be expelled within 6 hours, for others it can take up to 72 hours.
  • Bleeding usually lasts around 12 days, but can last up to 45 days.
There are variations available to the above procedure and also some pre-existing conditions where a medical abortion is not recommended. For all the details you may follow this link. Note this information is sourced from outside NZ. Please note that the information presented here is as a general guide and is not intended to replace competent medical advice. You should always consult a properly qualified medical practioner.

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