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FAQ: What do women who have medication abortions physically experience?


The amount and length of bleeding after a medication abortion is different for each woman and depends on both the method used and the length of the pregnancy. Many women describe the experience as a heavy, crampy, longer menstrual period. Other many women compare the process to an early miscarriage. 


Bleeding and cramping are normal and expected as part of the abortion process. The average bleeding time differs by method but can range from one to four weeks after initiating the abortion. For both mifepristone and misoprostol and misoprostol alone, the heaviest bleeding typically occurs in the first few days and then tapers off.  Cramping is generally more severe with misoprostol along than with other medication abortion methods. 


Many women report passing "clumps" and some report passing gray or tan tissue (the products of conception). This tissue is usually less than one and a half inches in length. The products of conception can typically be disposed of in the same way that products and materials associated with menstruation are disposed of (for example, flushing of a toilet).


If you have questions about medication abortion, please visit our frequently asked questions section.


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