Severe Bleeding and Cramps After Taking Abortion Pills?


Abortion by pills can result in bleeding and cramps. However, you need to watch out for warning signs such as severe bleeding and cramps.

What exactly does the abortion pills do?

In India, two medications Mifepristone and Misoprostol are used for medical abortion.

Mifepristone stops the embryo (a sperm fuses with an egg to form a fertilized egg and it grows to become an embryo and later a foetus) from growing inside the uterus. This is achieved when Mifepristone blocks a hormone called Progesterone which results in the thinning of the uterus lining, thereby making it impossible for the embryo to implant further and grow

Misoprostol causes the uterus to expel out all the products of conception through the vagina. This is achieved when Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract.

Usually Mifepristone is taken under the supervision of the doctor in the clinic. But some doctors are all right with you taking it later at home. Misoprostol is taken after a few hours or a day or two later. Your doctor will advise you when to take it.  

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How does the body normally respond to abortion pills?

Within a few hours after taking Misoprostol, you will start experiencing pain and cramps. This is a sign that your uterus has started to respond to the medication 

Since pain and cramps are part and parcel of the medical abortion, doctors also give you pain killers which you can take according to their advice.

Once the medicines start to work, you will start bleeding. Unlike the menstrual bleeding, here you will find that the blood has clumpy masses, some even the size of a small gooseberry. This is perfectly normal. It is advisable to use sanitary napkins to keep a track of the bleeding.

You will continue to bleed and have cramps for the next few hours. Once the pregnancy tissue has been expelled from the uterus, the bleeding and cramping become less intense and start decreasing. However, for the next one or two days, you will have occasional cramps and spotting. 

For some people, nausea and vomiting can happen during all this while. It is nothing abnormal. But to manage them, some doctors also give you medications for that.

What is abnormal?

  • When you do not have any pain or cramps within 24 hours after taking Misoprostol
  • When you have severe bleeding such that you have to change your sanitary napkin within an hour and you keep changing for the next few hours
  • The painkillers are not working to ease the cramps
  • You have a high fever of 38-degree Celsius and above which persists for more than 24 hours
  • Your vagina starts to discharge chunky blood clots frequently which is larger than the size of a lemon
  • You feel sick and have persistent nausea, vomiting and diarrhea for more than 24 hours and the prescribed medications do not help to ease them out.

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The timeliness of abortion pills

Abortion pills are to be taken only under medical supervision and guidance. For pregnancies under 7 weeks of gestation, abortion pills are recommended. Some doctors also suggest ultrasound scans to rule out abnormal pregnancies before they prescribe abortion pills to you. 

Without medical help and guidance, if you procure abortion pills and consume it, there are chances that your body can respond abnormally, especially if you have an abnormal pregnancy.

Also consuming abortion pills when your pregnancy is above 7 weeks can be risky. In India, most doctors recommend surgical abortion for pregnancies above 7 weeks. This is to minimize the complications that can happen using abortion pills during such a later stage of pregnancy. However, there are a few doctors who will assess your pregnancy and make a decision on abortion-by-pills posing no risk for you, especially if you are under 11 weeks of pregnancy. 

It is always important that you use abortion pills within the stipulated term of your pregnancy. When you take chances, there is always the possibility of your body responding abnormally.

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Bogus abortion pills

Many procure abortion pills from noncertified pharmacies online. Also, there are specific online spaces that claim to sell abortion pills online. You need to stay away from all these, as the abortion pills they sell are not the ones approved by the drug regulatory authorities. Many of these pills have harmful components in them that pose serious health risks for you. 

Call the doctor

If you develop any of the abnormal signs listed above during your abortion, you must immediately reach out to your doctor. Time matters a lot, especially when your body is losing a lot of blood. So please don’t wait for signs to come down on their own. You must get medical help. 

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