Cheeks, Tongues and When to Swallow

It’s all about how you do it…useabortion pills, that is.

by WomenHelp Women, 29 January 2020

You’ve decided you wantto have a self-managed abortion, you have the abortion pills on hand, andyou’ve done everything you can to make sure you’resafe and comfortable. Now what? That dependson whether you have both mifepristone and misoprostol or misoprostol alone.

Someone who has bothmifepristone and misoprostol will take one pill of mifepristone and four pillsof misoprostol. They will start by swallowing the one pill of mifepristone witha glass of water. After waiting 24 hours, the person will tuck the four pillsof misoprostolbetweentheir cheek and lower gum – two on the left side of their mouth andtwo on the right. They’ll let the misoprostol dissolve for 30 full minuteswithout eating or drinking anything, then swallow whatever is left. After that,they can eat or drink again.

Someone who hasmisoprostol alone will take a total of 12 pills of misoprostol. They will startby tucking four pillsundertheir tongueand let them dissolve for 30 full minutes, and thenswallow whatever is left. After three hours, they will put four more pillsunder their tongue, let them dissolve, and swallow what’s left after 30minutes. Then they will wait another three hours. Finally, they will put fourmore 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 caneat and drink normally between doses.

After swallowing what’sleft of the dissolved misoprostol, the person can eat and drink normally again.In fact, it’s important tostay hydratedthroughout theabortion.

If you have otherquestions about abortion with pills, fromhow to handle anynauseayoumight have during your self-managed abortion towhether a doctor cantellthatyou’ve used abortion pills, we’ve got your back. You can get accurate,up-to-date information atAbortionPillInfo.organd on the Eukireproductive health app, now available for bothiOSorAndroid.


1. Ensuringcomplete abortion: In using misoprostol alone, if you think the abortion hasnot been complete, you can take at least one additional dose every three hours.In almost all cases, the abortion will be complete after a total of five doses.

2. Abortion can bepainful, often compared to a very painful period. Before you start you can takea painkiller such as ibuprofen and repeat as needed.