How Chemical Abortion Works

An M&M Abortion is the type of Medical Abortion available in Canada. It uses the drugs methotrexate and misoprostol.

(1) ©Women’s College Hospital

A Personal Story

“In fact, the M&M process can be far more taxing than a surgical abortion, which lasts for about 15 minutes, with a recovery time of roughly one day. The first dose of mifepristone, which overrides the pregnancy hormones and breaks down the lining of the uterus, usually produces only minor side effects such as nausea, headaches, weakness and fatigue. But two days later the patient returns to the clinic for a dose of misoprostol, which causes contractions of the uterus to expel the fertilized egg. This stage of the procedure can be painful, messy and protracted. Women are required to stay under observation at the clinic for four hours. Recalls Angie, an unmarried 20-year-old with two children: "I started to bleed like menstruation. But nothing really happened until the next day. I was having deep cramping when I went to the bathroom, and it was like turning a water jug upside down. I looked at the fetus and was disgusted. I flushed before I got sick to my stomach." She then had to return to the clinic 12 days later for an exam that would ensure that the abortion was complete.”

(Taken from Andrea Sach’s article Abortion Pills on Trial, found in the June 2001 edition of Time magazine. To read the rest of the article, click here)