Q: What is important to know before using the abortion pills?

A person should do these things before using abortion pills:

1. Confirm the pregnancy with a urine test, blood test, or ultrasound.

2. Know the length of pregnancy. This can be best estimated by counting the days since the first day of the last menstruation. To easily calculate the length of pregnancy, use this pregnancy calculator.

3. Make a plan.

It is important to have someone for support and in case of a medical complication, although complications are very rare. It is good to have ibuprofen for the cramps. If a person is nauseated due to pregnancy, they should take an over-the-counter anti-nausea medicine (anti-emetic) to avoid vomiting the pills.  Have sanitary pads on hand.

Plan to start the medicines as soon as possible. An abortion with pills at home is safest and most effective if done before 12 weeks of pregnancy.

On the day of taking the medicines, one can eat and drink normally. The medications don't need to be taken on an empty stomach. Avoid drinking alcohol or eating heavy meals while taking the medicines. Be sure to keep the medicines away from children. Find a place near a toilet where there is comfort and privacy.

Think about what day would be most convenient to take the misoprostol (the second pill that provokes cramps and bleeding).  A person will want to be in a comfortable place, with privacy if needed, and near a bathroom.

4. Have no serious medical conditions or an IUD. If the person has an IUD, it should be removed before using misoprostol.

5. Be able to get to medical care within two hours in case of an emergency, and make a plan for getting there if needed.