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Abortion pills like mifepristone and misoprostol are meant to end a pregnancy. They’re not dangerous to take, whether or not you’re pregnant. But there’s no reason to use abortion pills if you’re not pregnant.  

Even though abortion pills are safe, they can have side effects that are unpleasant — like strong cramping, heavy bleeding, chills, fever, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s not necessary to go through all that if you don’t have to.   

If you do take abortion pills and have severe pain or excessive bleeding, go to the hospital or see a  nurse or doctor right away.

Bottom line: Only use abortion pills if you’re pregnant. 

To find out if you’re pregnant, take a pregnancy test after you miss a period or 3 weeks after unprotected sex. If you don’t take a pregnancy test, it can be hard to know if you’re actually pregnant or not. So it's a good idea to take a pregnancy test before making an appointment to get an abortion. 

People often ask us what to do if they have unprotected sex and don’t want to get pregnant. In that case, use emergency contraception — not abortion pills. Emergency contraception is sometimes called the morning-after pill or Plan B. It can prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex. But emergency contraception won’t cause an abortion if you’re already pregnant.

If you have questions about pregnancy, emergency contraception, or abortion pills, call your nearest Planned Parenthood health center. You can also talk with a live health educator on our Chat/Text line — it’s totally free and confidential.

Tags: RU-486, emergency contraception, the morning-after pill, medication abortion, mifepristone, misoprostol, abortion pill