Associated risks with abortion pills, some Myths and Facts

Welcome onboard if you or your friend you want to help is carrying an unwanted pregnancy. At first, you may think of using abortion pills to terminate the same, but are they safe?

Have you considered the risks associated with buying abortion pills?

And is there any way you can have safe abortion pills?

This post intends to help abortion seekers discover their safe, legal and confidential abortion options. At the same time, it is to highlight the risks associated with buying abortion pills in different countries, different gestation lengths and different medical conditions.

Read the post to know your best options. Along your reading journey, we will uncover the most important points you may need to know before taking abortion pills. We will also share answers to your concerns as answered by medical experts and doctors.

Let’s begin with a briefing about the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) as to what the procedure is like.

The medical method of abortion: The abortion pill method:

The medical method of abortion involves the use of approved and safe abortion pills to terminate an ongoing early pregnancy. This method is recommended only for ending unwanted pregnancies that have not exceeded 8 weeks.

Do you know how far are you in pregnancy? And is the pregnancy unwanted?

In such a case, the delay is never advisable. You can request an early appointment at American Hospital Bangalore (AHB). Not only you will come to know the exact length and location of the pregnancy, but also have access to Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC).

You can expect to receive a private one-to-one consultation with the doctor. You will be advised of your best abortion options that are safe, legal as well as confidential. Hence, there is no need to panic or act in a hurry. Many a time, actions taken hurriedly do not last as expected. On the contrary, the decisions made wisely after looking into all the pros and cons are often yielding.

In case of any difficulty in knowing your best choices, you can always call on AHB’s helpline to seek both medical and psychological guidance to help you make the best choice for you, your health and your life.

Coming back to the abortion pills…

The two pills approved to be used for abortions are Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Here is how their duo works in a woman’s body.

The two pills are not taken together. While Mifepristone may be a single pill, Misoprostol may come in divided doses.

The first abortion pill: Mifepristone

Mifepristone is administered on the first appointment. It may be orally administered or inserted vaginally as per the doctor may seem fit for individual cases. It is given to stop the growing embryo from developing further.

When a woman conceives, her body starts getting ready for the growing embryo. To sustain the growth, the female’s body secretes progesterone. It is a hormone that checks off ovulation and helps the embryo grow healthily. It is also known as the ‘pregnancy hormone.’

Mifepristone, the first abortion pill intends to block the action of this progesterone hormone and is hence known to have anti-progestin properties. It blocks the synthesis of more progesterone and antagonizes the action of available one. Due to this, the embryo is unable to keep developing and stops growing further.

Besides stopping embryo growth, Mifepristone also prepares the woman’s body for abortion. It softens the cervix to make an easy passage for the embryo to pass through the vaginal route. When the body gets short of progesterone, it realizes it’s time to break the uterine lining which was being prepared for the growing embryo.

The second pill: Misoprostol

This pill or pills are to be taken on the second appointment. Sometimes, they are given to the patient to be taken at home.

It works by contracting the uterus and emptying the womb. The body experiences abdominal cramps and pain may range from mild to moderate to severe. Some cases may even require pain management.

The embryo, the uterine lining and other gestation products are evacuated through vaginal bleeding.

The bleeding may last from a couple of days in some women to more than 10-15 days in others. Hence, to be assured of a successful abortion, a woman has to wait for the bleeding to stop. If it doesn’t stop or is accompanied by pain beyond 10-12 days, there are chances of incomplete abortion. This is one of the most common risks with abortion pills.

Coming next to the same and other risks with abortion pills in detail.

Abortion pills and the Associated Risks:

Some abortion pill risks are medically common and can happen to any woman. While there are some other risks or we can better call them circumstantial risks. These are the ones owing to circumstances in which a woman opted for using abortion pills.

Let’s get them in detail by bifurcating them for a better understanding.

Medical risks associated with abortion pills:

Failed abortion:

It is possible that a woman takes abortion pills and abortion does not happen at all. The pregnancy may continue to grow. Though the chances are rare, we cannot rule out the possibility of a failed abortion with abortion pills and hence this method of abortion is not 100% efficient.

Incomplete abortion:

This is an associated similar risk where abortion may happen but not complete. As aforementioned, it is the most common risk with abortion pills and the one that needs your attention.

We mentioned above that the abortion pill method is not 100% efficient. It is nearly 95%-98% effective only.

The risk does not end here. Such failed and incomplete abortions need surgeries to complete them.

A note to remember:

All abortion risks are preventable. Incomplete abortions can also be prevented by opting for better efficient methods of abortion.

The risk of failed and incomplete abortions increase with the increase in gestation age.


Chances of infection with abortion pills may come from unhygienic premises, unhealthy eating or other lifestyle habits. There are certain precautions one may need to take when opted for the abortion pill method.

These may include avoiding sexual intercourse or using sheath protection. At the time of vaginal bleeding, whether it is a menstrual period or post-partum bleeding, a woman’s body is vulnerable to certain infections like Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis and many other similar ones.

Abortion pills side-effects:

While you may consider them to be common, but some women report them to negatively impact their lives. Some of the commonly reported side-effects of abortion pills include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Leg cramps
  • Hot flushes
  • Fever with or without chills
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Severe pelvic pain and abdominal cramps
  • Dizziness

These usually wean away in a day or two.

But there may be other long-term side-effects like the risk of uterine leiomyomas. {Ref.: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Apr; 96(17): e6680}

Risk of allergies:

Allergies are hypersensitive reactions that may be mild or may be severe even needing hospitalization. Some women may be allergic to abortion pills and hence this needs to be ruled out before administering them. It is therefore advised not to self-administer abortion pills since the doctor will check you for its allergy before prescribing them.

Risk of contraindicated or interacting medicines:

A patient who is to take abortion pills for terminating an unwanted pregnancy may be suffering from any other medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular complications or any other conditions for which she might be taking certain medicines.

Mifepristone and Misoprostol may interact with these medicines and increase abortion complications. Advising you, always speak to a doctor to know whether the MTP method is the right choice for you.

In case you are struggling to find out whether the abortion pill method is your choice, please feel free to speak to a healthcare professional. You can call or message or WhatsApp on AHB’s helpline number or just drop a comment below. The expert healthcare providers will answer all your concerns and also let you know whether MTP is the best choice for you.

Special note:

If you are any of the medicines with active ingredients like Prednisone, itraconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole, erythromycin, dexamethasone, rifabutin, aspirin, clopidogrel, aluminium carbonate, calcium carbonate, magaldrate, naproxen. quinapril or the like, please do not self-administer abortion pills. These medicines may tend to interact with abortion pills and cause complications.

Even while visiting a certified abortion clinic, please let your doctor know of all the medicines that you are taking. At AHB, the patient’s medical condition is thoroughly checked and medical notes are taken down to eliminate this risk. Broadly speaking, antifungals, blood thinners, long-term corticosteroids, certain anti-seizure drugs may be interacting.

Either they may change the functioning of the abortion pills and how they work in your body. Or they may change the way other medicines may be working on your body.

And hence it may be better to opt for another abortion method like a Gentle Care procedure or Vacuum Aspiration method.

Circumstantial risks with abortion pills:

These are the risks that can be prevented by the right decision made. Many times, women do not know of these risks and hence they fall in for them. On the other hand, even after knowing certain risks, some women tend to panic about the fact that they are carrying an unwanted pregnancy.

These risks take a clutch of mostly teenagers (an example), unmarried girls and women who are living in countries with restricted abortion laws.

Risk of unsafe abortion or Do It Yourself (DIY) abortion:

As mentioned above, many women resort to self-administration of abortion pills without knowing the medical risks, such as that of incomplete abortion.

They tend to get these abortions completed by unsafe means just as they may have procured illegal abortion pills. Even in countries where abortion is legal, the sale and purchase of abortion pills require valid doctor’s prescriptions or can be made available only in a healthcare provider’s setting. These may include certified abortion clinics, MTP centres, state hospitals, government hospitals and some other institutions that are registered to carry out legal abortions.

When unsafe methods are adopted for completing these incomplete or failed abortions, there are another set of complications and associated risks. Since the procedure involves uterine perforation, it is essential to be performed only by well qualified and experienced doctors.

In unsafe settings, these risks may include:

Internal injury:

Any invasive procedure has a probability of injury if it is not performed safely and accurately. Even with unsafe abortions, in case internal organs like the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary or the like gets injured, there may negatively impact the future pregnancies.

They may tend to distort the uterus shape posing difficulty in conceiving in future.


Internal injury may lead to excessive bleeding and if not controlled at the very same time, it may lead the patient into shock and can even be fatal.

Unprofessional people do not care about these things since they only want to make money by unprofessional means. Besides, they are not concerned about the patient, her health or safety. They may tend to make out money by taking undue advantage of a woman’s circumstances.

Immensely painful experience:

Besides the physical trauma, the mental trauma may also be very high since the experience is highly painful. In certified abortion clinics, surgical abortions are performed under general or local anaesthesia to make them painless.

But in unsafe practices, you cannot expect this kind of treatment and may have to undergo torturous pain at the hands of an unprofessional.


You can expect unsafe abortions to be carried out secretively in premises that are not equipped with complete healthcare facilities. Such premises may not be hygienic as is desired for surgical procedures to rule out the possibilities of infections.

Even the medical tools and pieces of equipment that are used to carry out the abortions may not be sterile and can lead to various infections as mentioned above.

These infections may also pose a threat to a woman’s life if the infection spreads to the entire body and can cause sepsis. It is a severe form of infection and can even be life-threatening.

Incomplete abortion:

Since advanced knowledge and extensive training is required to perform any kind of surgery, even abortions, you may not know whether the procedure you underwent actually cleaned your womb or not.

The remaining products of gestation in your womb may cause vaginal bleeding, moderate to intense pain and can even affect your hormone levels.

Your existing medical conditions and unsafe abortion risks:

Since we are speaking of unsafe abortion, we cannot expect such quacks to be considering your medical history. Rather than consideration, we cannot even expect them to be knowing how to deal with them.

For an instance, a woman who is taking blood thinners, being hypertensive or for any other condition such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) may have immense internal bleeding while the uterine lining is being abraded or due to an injury. The quack may not know how to manage the emergency.

Considering another example where a woman is diabetic, she may not heal as expected and her blood sugar levels may fluctuate greatly. “Prolonged hypoglycemia may even cause brain death.”

The advice:

Please do not administer any medicine without a doctor’s consultation. And never opt for unsafe abortions. You do have a safe and legal way out of an unwanted pregnancy. Nothing is more important than your health and life. And “there’s no use of crying over the spilt milk”.

Whether you are opting for an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy or have taken abortion pills and are suffering from complications of an incomplete abortion, better speak to a gynaecologist.

To speak to a healthcare provider regarding your personal case, you may click here.

Your entire conversation shall be kept confidential as you will be speaking to a doctor at the best abortion hospital.

Risk of abortion in terms of law based on your country’s current abortion rule directory.

In many countries worldwide, abortions are either completely banned or are restricted to certain events.

These may include the events they are needed to perform to save the life of the woman or in case of fetal anomalies. And most of these countries do not provide legal permissions for abortion in events like a contraceptive failure or an unplanned pregnancy.

Unmarried girls further face challenges since even for legal abortions, they are available for restricted conditions and only to married couples who have to prove that they are married.

In instances where a pregnancy is an outcome of sexual assault, the woman is not allowed to terminate her unwanted pregnancy in most countries. Even in countries that permit abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape, the case has to be proved in a court of law.

These are most likely the cases that propel women to resort to unsafe abortions without realizing the side effects.

And when they and their helpers are caught violating the abortion rules of the country, not only do they have to face legal punishment, but they also get victimised at the hands of societal stigma.

These women if guided with a little knowledge towards the right direction as to how and where they can avail safe abortions can have their lives, health and privacies saved.

Considering some of the countries with restricted abortion rules, you may click on the links and read them in detail.

Many women from these countries often travel to Bangalore as a part of a short abortion trip, avail a safe, legal and confidential abortion at AHB and return happily with the confidence of a completed abortion. Feel free to check out testimonials by happy patients.

Request an appointment at AHB.

The abortion pills: Myths vs Facts

Misinformation regarding anything can have more severe consequences than one can think of. And hence it is essential to differentiate between the myths and the facts.

Since it is the information and knowledge that are responsible for the decisions made, it is essential to place the right pieces in the puzzle.

Here is your guide into the same.

Myth: The abortion pill is safe and has no risks.

Fact: While abortion pills may be safe for many women, but for the ones who are at risk, they may lead to severe complications as mentioned above under the section Abortion pills side-effects.

Myth: Abortion pills are readily available online.

Fact: Abortion pills may be available online but they require valid medical prescriptions from the registered medical practitioners to be presented, uploaded and get them verified before they are made available to the patient.

And the sites that show they are selling abortion pills in Dubai, abortion pills in Kuwait, abortion pills in Oman, abortion pills in Qatar, abortion pills in UAE, etc. only tend to make more sales for any pills they may give the patient claiming them to be abortion pills.

Buying wrong pills or even the right pills but of substandard qualities are bound to present many complications like heavy and unmanageable bleeding.

Myth: Abortion pills always work.

Fact: Even if the highest quality and the right abortion pills are used, they are not 100% efficient. There may be cases of failed or incomplete abortions.

Myth: The abortion pill is the same as the morning-after pill.

Fact: Morning after-pill or a medicine that is prescribed for preventing contraception post-coitus is different from abortion pills. The morning after pill is meant to prevent the fertilization or if the fertilization has taken place, it does not let the embryo develop by letting the body not prepare for pregnancy.

Whereas, abortion pills are meant to induce an abortion by clearing the uterine cavity and bringing down all gestation products through vaginal flow.

Make the best abortion decision:

Many times, newspapers and magazines present these kinds of abortion stories where women claim that unsafe abortions had been the biggest mistake of their lives.

We are sure you can have a safe abortion experience for an unwanted pregnancy at American Hospital Bangalore (AHB). The other plus points for any woman travelling to Bangalore for safe abortion at AHB include:

  • Abortion is legal for a wide range of circumstances.
  • Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, unlike most countries. And AHB prescribes the best method of abortion according to individualized cases. It is equipped to carry out safe and Gentle care abortion procedures.
  • If you are an adult, only your consent is required for performing the abortion. If you so desire, you may not involve your parents or your spouse.
  • You can receive a safe and legal abortion even if you are unmarried or a single mother.
  • You will not be judged for your abortion decisions or preferences.
  • You will receive a completely professional and safest abortion.
  • Since a woman’s psychological and mental health is as important as her physical health, you can expect caring, compassionate and friendly behaviour by the doctor, nurses and other staff members regardless of your personal life.
  • All your personal details and abortion status shall be kept confidential.

If you too are struggling to find the best abortion option, please speak to the best abortion hospital before you make any abortion decision.

Related posts:

  1. What are the abortion risks and how to prevent them?
  2. Ectopic pregnancy complicates unwanted pregnancy abortions
  3. Safe, Confidential and Legal Abortion in India
  4. How to prepare for abortion? Key thoughts and medical guidance