Medication Abortion

Medication abortion is done in Canada using a combination of medications, together called Mifegymiso. Mifegymiso includes two medications that are taken over two days.

If your pregnancy is between 6 and 10 weeks (70 days), counting from the first day of your last normal menstrual period, you may choose either a medication abortion or an aspiration abortion. Please read about both types of procedures before booking your appointment.

All assessments including ultrasound and lab work (including a blood test for Rh type and pregnancy hormone) are done on the day of your appointment, meaning you do not have to go anywhere other than Kensington Clinic for the evaluation of your pregnancy.

Before you receive the medication, we will do an ultrasound to confirm you are no more than 10 weeks (70 days) pregnant. If you are eligible for a medication abortion, you will meet with our counsellor to discuss the steps in detail. You will then meet with a nurse who will take your medical history and do blood work. After this, the physician will start the treatment.


Mifepristone: You will take the first medication, mifepristone, in the clinic. Mifepristone will destabilize the lining of your uterus to end the pregnancy. Once you take this medication these effects are not reversible.

Misoprostol: You will be given the second medication, misoprostol, to take home on the day of your appointment. You will insert the misoprostol tablets into your vagina or into the cheeks of your mouth 24-48 hours after you take the mifepristone. You may choose the time of day you take the misoprostol, but be aware that you will start to bleed heavily within 1-4 hours. As you can expect to have heavy bleeding and strong cramping, you should choose a time when you are safe to rest. The bleeding and cramping may continue for several hours. After that, bleeding may continue off and on for up to 6 weeks.

There is a 2-5% failure rate with these medications.

Side Effects

Most people will need pain medications such as extra strength ibuprofen and acetaminophen to help with the pain associated with medication abortion. Heavy bleeding resulting in soaking 1-2 large pads every hour may occur for several hours, with on and off bleeding for up to 6 weeks. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, headaches and fatigue are common side effects of the medications. Some people will find these side effects to be intense. If you are unsure you are can manage these symptoms at home, you should choose an aspiration abortion instead.

Medication Abortion vs Aspiration Abortion

Please consider carefully which type of procedure best suits you. Although there is bleeding and cramping with both aspiration and medication abortions, bleeding and cramping will be more intense and of greater duration with a medication abortion. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have before you make your decision. However, if you book for one type of appointment and change your mind on the day of the appointment, you will have to rebook an appointment on another day. Please read the Comparison of Early Abortion Options.