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A medical abortion uses medicines to end a pregnancy. Two medicines are usually used. Your doctor will give you one medicine to take during the visit or at home. You will take the second medicine within 2 days after the first medicine. The timing depends on how your doctor tells you to use them. The second medicine takes about 1 to 2 days to work, with bleeding usually starting within a few hours.
After a medical abortion, you may have bleeding, spotting, and cramping for the first 2 weeks.
You will see your doctor, or go to a lab for a test, within 14 days after taking the medicine. This will help make sure that the abortion is complete. Sometimes the medicine does not work. If that happens, you may need to take a second dose of medicine or have a surgical abortion.
You can get pregnant in the weeks right after an abortion. If you don't want to get pregnant, talk with your doctor about birth control methods.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Adaptation Date: 2/28/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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