Abortion by tablets or pills - medical abortion

What is an abortion pill?

Abortion pills, or abortion tablets, are designed to bring on an abortion. These can be used in the first trimester of pregnancy. This means that they can be taken up to 12 weeks since your last period. They are designed to be used with medical advice and supervision to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you to take these medicines.


Frequently asked questions

I took an abortion pill without medical supervision and now I have pain/ bleeding/ headaches/ fainting/ diarrhoea/ shortness of breath. What can I do?

If you have excessive bleeding (or prolonged bleeding that persists without stopping for 4 or 5 days), bad pain or other complications after taking an abortion pill, you should attend your GP, a family planning clinic, the emergency department of your local hospital, or one of the services listed here immediately. Please keep in mind that medical staff will try to help you. They may have difficulty in helping you if they do not know the content of the product you have taken. It is advisable to bring any information and packaging that comes with the pill to the hospital/GP/Family Planning clinic as it may assist the medical staff in their diagnosis and the medical care they can give.


I took an abortion pill without medical supervision and now I have a feeling that I'm still pregnant, is this possible?

Yes, it is possible that you are still pregnant. The pills may not have been "genuine" abortion pills and even "genuine" abortion pills can fail to work properly sometimes. The pills also will not cause abortion of a pregnancy located in the tube (ectopic pregnancy). The pills may not work if you are more than nine week's pregnant or pregnant with twins. However, even if the pills have worked and brought on an abortion, it may take a number of days before a pregnancy test produces a negative result. If you are concerned, it is advisable to attend your GP or one of the services listed here for a free post-abortion medical check-up.


I took an abortion pill without medical supervision. Can I get post-abortion counselling?

Yes, post-abortion counselling is available free of charge to any woman in Ireland who has an abortion. If you took an abortion pill, counselling services do not record this information in their patient records. For a list of post-abortion counselling services that are free of charge, please click here.