Planning for Your Self-Managed Abortion
Be prepared, be safe, be comfortable!
Your abortion pills are in your hand. You’ve got the information you need about taking them properly. Now it’s time to make a plan for being safe and comfortable while you use them.
Here are some things to include in your plan:
- Decide when to take the pills. An abortion with pills involves hard cramping and heavy bleeding for several hours – so you probably want to plan for a day you don’t have to be out and about. If you can skip school or work, and find child care if necessary, do it. It’s also a good idea to use the medication at the start of the day, since that makes it easier to stay awake, alert, and aware of what’s happening throughout the process.
- Find a comfortable place to spend the day. It should be a place where you can lie down when you want and get to the bathroom easily when you need to. If you live with people who might not be supportive, you could choose to explain why you’re in and out of the bathroom by saying you’re having a heavy period or food poisoning or a stomach bug. But if that doesn’t feel safe enough, you might decide to spend the day at a friend’s home or even in a hotel room instead.
- Consider asking someone you trust to spend the day with you or be on call to come over if you decide you need them. That’s partly for your safety (although complications are very rare), but you might also just like having company.
- Plan for cramps. Have ibuprofen or another painkiller on hand, and take a normal dose at the first twinge. A heating pad or hot water bottle on the belly or back can also be soothing.
- Stock up on sanitary pads. You’re going to bleed, maybe a lot. Using pads helps you keep track of your bleeding and be sure it’s not too much.
- Be prepared for normal side effects like nausea, diarrhea, or chills with over-the-counter anti-nausea drugs to settle your stomach, a sports drink or a big glass of water to keep you hydrated, and a blanket to keep you cozy.
- Dress for the occasion. You’re going to be changing pads a lot, so you might want to wear leggings, sweats, a bathrobe, or something else that’s comfy and bathroom-friendly. On the other hand, if you feel like putting on your favorite outfit, do it up
- Nourish yourself. Get your food and drink ready ahead of time, because you probably won’t feel like cooking or going to the store. You can eat anything you want during your abortion, with one big exception: don’t drink alcohol on the day of your abortion or for several days after. If you’re tipsy, you’ll have a harder time paying attention to what your body is doing and noticing anything that requires attention.
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?