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Someone asked us: How can I tell if my abortion pill worked? Is there a way to know if your abortion worked or not?

Abortion is extremely effective. In-clinic abortions work more than 99 out of 100 times.  

Abortion pills are also very effective at ending early pregnancies — you can use abortion pills for up to 77 days (11 weeks) after the first day of your last period. They work 87-99 out of 100 times, depending on how far along your pregnancy is and how much medicine you take. So while abortion usually work, if they don’t work you may need to take more medicine or have an in-clinic abortion to complete the abortion.

If you get your abortion pills from a health care provider like Planned Parenthood, they may give you a special, extra-sensitive pregnancy test to use later to make sure the abortion worked. You may also be able to get an ultrasound or blood test to make sure that the abortion worked. 

If you had an in-clinic abortion, they’ll check to make sure your abortion was complete. If they see something that makes them think it wasn’t, they may have you do follow-up tests to make sure. Your nurse or doctor will talk you through everything you need to know. 

Some people are worried their medication abortion didn’t work because they’re expecting to see more blood, tissue, or large clumps to come out. But at the early stages of pregnancy when taking abortion pills is an option, it’s very likely that all you’ll see is what looks like a period. This is because early in pregnancy, the pregnancy tissue looks similar to dryer lint, which, mixed in with blood, is often not very noticeable.

Remember that if you have any concerns about your health, including any symptoms you’re experiencing during or after an abortion, your nearest Planned Parenthood is available to help you, even if we didn’t provide your abortion. 

If you can't get in touch with a Planned Parenthood health center, but still have questions about a miscarriage or abortion, the Miscarriage + Abortion Hotline is a private and secure phone and text hotline, staffed by medical professionals. They’re not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, but they may be able to provide helpful information.

Tags: Abortion, pregnancy, pregnancy symptoms

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