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does the abortion pill hurt

“Will it hurt?” If you find yourself considering the abortion pill, pain is likely one of the many concerns you might have. The answer isn’t quite a simple yes, it will, or no, it won’t. Every woman’s body responds to the abortion pill differently, and no one can predict exactly how you’re going to feel after taking the doses. But there are some common side effects of the abortion pill that you could possibly experience, and it’s important to learn how it could potentially affect you after taking it.

You might have several questions about the abortion pill as you face an unexpected pregnancy decision. You don’t have to face this decision on your own. Reach out to Avenue Women’s Center today and find nonjudgmental and compassionate support in our experienced professionals trained to assist women facing unexpected pregnancies. Our caring team understands that each woman’s concerns are unique, and we take the time to address your questions in a free and private pregnancy consultation at one of our five locations in the DuPage County area.

Potential Physical Side Effects

The abortion pill, also called a medication or medical abortion, does involve physical side effects such as heavy to excessive bleeding, passing blood clots and tissue, as well as mild to severe cramping. Other common reactions can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, hot flashes, chills, fatigue, breast tenderness, discharge with a strong odor, and headaches. These symptoms can last for a few days, but usually subside on their own. While some women report feeling similar to a terrible menstrual period after taking the abortion pill, others have experienced significant bleeding that can last for several days. How far along a pregnancy is can affect the pain you might feel with an abortion pill, along with your pain tolerance threshold, your personal medical condition, and which type of medication is taken.

What Can You Do?

Before taking the abortion pill, speak with your doctor to learn about pain management options that work best for you. It can be reassuring to know the options are already in place just in case they are needed. This will also prevent you from trying to alleviate the pain yourself with avenues that could make things worse, such as taking aspirin that can increase bleeding. Other ways to prepare can include setting up your home for comfort as you heal with loose clothing options available, heating pads for cramping relief, cold packs for hot flashes, pillows to help position yourself, and placing a supply of menstruation pads within easy reach. If the side effects continue past the initial time frame or are severe in nature, be sure to see your doctor and evaluate your next steps.

Possible Emotional Side Effects

Similar to varying physical side effects, every woman can experience different emotional effects after taking an abortion pill. Some women might feel acceptance or relief with their decision and return to their lives with minimal emotional repercussions. These same women might feel fine at first, but later experience difficult feelings as time passes, feeling triggered by pregnancies of friends or a disconnection from children in their lives. It can be difficult to know how you’ll feel after taking the abortion pill, but women who struggled with the decision beforehand often experience guilt, regret, remorse, anxiety, shame, isolation, and sadness afterwards. More severe emotions can include depression and suicidal thoughts.

What Can You Do?

After taking the abortion pill, give yourself the time to process your decision and allow yourself to feel however you feel. There is no prescribed way you should be feeling, as every woman’s emotions and circumstances are different. Understand that you just went through a potentially tough experience physically and emotionally, and that it’s okay to reach out for help if you need it. You are not weaker for needing help, you’re human. You might feel the need to seek counseling or talk with a trusted person about your emotions. You might also benefit from finding post-abortion healing programs with individual or group settings to talk about your experience in a safe and supportive setting. Your emotional self-care after an abortion pill is just as important as your physical care.

If you or someone you know is considering the abortion pill, or medication abortion, it might be helpful to learn more about it before you take action. Learning all the facts before taking the abortion pill may affect your decision, or address your important concerns. At Avenue Women’s Center, you’ll find an empathetic professional who will offer understanding and supportive help as you face your pregnancy decision. Avenue offers confidential pregnancy consultations for you to discuss your concerns in a nonjudgmental and compassionate environment at no cost to you. Call, text, chat, or email us right away to schedule your appointment.


  • American Pregnancy Association. (2018, June). Abortion Pill. Retrieved from
  • Healthline. (2018, July). Do Abortions Hurt? What to Expect When Taking the Pill or Undergoing In-Office Surgery. Retrieved from

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.