Cheeks, Tongues, and When to Swallow
It’s all about how you do it…use abortion pills, that is.
You’ve decided you want to have a self-managed abortion, you have the abortion pills on hand, and you’ve done everything you can to make sure you’re safe and comfortable. Now what? That depends on whether you have both mifepristone and misoprostol or misoprostol alone.
Someone who has both mifepristone and misoprostol will take one pill of mifepristone and four pills of misoprostol. They will start by swallowing the one pill of mifepristone with a glass of water. After waiting 24 hours, the person will tuck the four pills of misoprostol between their cheek and lower gum, two on the left side of their mouth and two on the right. They’ll let the misoprostol dissolve for 30 full minutes without eating or drinking anything, then swallow whatever is left. After that, they can eat or drink again.
Someone who has misoprostol alone will take a total of 12 pills of misoprostol. They will start by tucking four pills under their tongue and let them dissolve for 30 full minutes, then swallow whatever is left. After three hours, they will put four more pills under their tongue, let them dissolve, and swallow what’s left after 30 minutes. Then they will wait another three hours. Finally, they will put four more pills under their tongue to dissolve for 30 minutes and swallow the rest. The person should not eat or drink while the pills are dissolving, but they can eat and drink normally between doses.
After swallowing what’s left of the dissolved misoprostol, the person can eat and drink normally again. In fact, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the abortion.
If you have other questions about abortion with pills, from how to handle any nausea you might have during your self-managed abortion to whether a doctor can tell that you’ve used abortion pills, we’ve got your back. You can get accurate, up-to-date information at AbortionPillInfo.org and on the Euki reproductive health app, now available for both iOS or Android.