COVID19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:
All of our clinics are open as normal for face to face, telemedicine, medical or surgical treatments, including vasectomy.

UK Choose your country 

Other services

Find out about our vasectomy, contraception, and counselling services.

Read more

Who we are

We're the leading independent provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the UK.

Read more

Resources - Abortion Pill

Everything you need to know about the abortion pill (medical abortion)

The abortion pill

Medical abortion (or the abortion pill, as it's sometimes called) involves taking two types of medication at different times to end a pregnancy.

At MSI Reproductive Choices UK, medical abortion is available up to 9 weeks + 6 days of pregnancy. For the majority of people who have a medical abortion, it is a very safe procedure. However, not everyone is suitable for a medical abortion, and you may be offered a surgical abortion.

What is the process of getting the abortion pill?

Call our advice line

You can always call our FREE advice line on 0345 300 8090: our experienced and trainer agents will explain the next steps, book you in for a phone consultation and will offer the option of FREE counselling appointments.

Get your consultation

Before your abortion, you will have a consultation with one of our specially-trained nurses or midwives.

Check safety criteria

We will calculate your gestation (how many weeks pregnant you are) and take a full medical history from you. We may also carry out some tests to ensure your safety.

Receive the abortion pill

Following your consultation, you will have the choice of either collecting the pills from your preferred clinic or having them posted to you. Your Medical Abortion Pack will contain:

  • both sets of abortion pills,
  • a guide to taking the tablets at home,
  • contraception,
  • an STI kit if this is permitted by the NHS in the woman’s area,
  • pain relief and an aftercare booklet.

At Home Abortion Pill

In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the government has approved the use of telemedicine for abortion care: eligible clients will be able to take both pills for medical abortion up to 10 weeks in their own homes, without attending a clinic.

So, how does the abortion pill work?

A medical abortion involves taking two pills: the first medication is called mifepristone. It stops the pregnancy from growing by blocking the hormone progesterone, and causes the pregnancy to separate from the wall of the womb. The second medication is call misoprostol. This causes the cervix (neck of the womb) to soften and open and the womb to contract so that the pregnancy passes through the vagina.

What are the side-effects?


After a medical abortion it is completely normal to experience some cramping and bleeding.

Some women may also experience:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever/chills, temporary flushes, or sweats

If you are sick within one hour of taking the first pill (mifepristone), you will need to take another for it to be effective. You should let us know as soon as possible if you have been sick after taking the tablet.


The onset of these symptoms can happen fairly soon after taking the medication but most women recover quickly, usually within 1-2 days. 

Online Medical Abortion What to expect

24/7 aftercare support available: we are here for you

Recovery time after an abortion will be different for everyone, but you'll usually feel better within a few days. However, if you feel like you’re experiencing any problems – either physical or emotional – after the treatment, we’re here to help. You can call our aftercare line 24 hours a day and talk to one of our friendly, experienced nurses. You can always call our dedicated aftercare line: 0345 122 1441.

Abortion Pill FAQs

We are here to answer your questions and help you in this process. To chat to one of our trained agents, call our advice line 0345 300 8090.

What is the difference between the abortion pill and the morning after pill?

The ‘morning after pill’ is an emergency contraceptive: though often called the morning after pill, it can actually be taken up to 96 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex to prevent a pregnancy. It is a progesterone-only hormone pill and works by delaying the release of an egg from an ovary, therefore preventing pregnancy. There is usually just one pill to take. The sooner you take the morning after pill, the greater the chances of avoiding pregnancy.

Do I need a GP referral to access the abortion pill?

No, you don't need a GP referral to access our services, you can self-refer. Call our advice line to schedule your phone consultation.

Can I visit one of your clinics?

Our network of over 60 clinics will always remain open for anyone who is not eligible for the "at home abortion pill" option and needs (or prefers) to attend a clinic to receive face-to-face care.

Where are your clinics located?

We have over 60 clinics which provide high-quality reproductive services to over 70,000 people each year. You can always expect a warm welcome without judgement. Have a look at the map of our services.

Get I get counselling as part of my treatment?

Yes, at MSI Reproductive Choices UK we provide counselling services for anyone who would like to talk through their abortion or vasectomy options before booking their consultation appointment. Post-treatment counselling is also available any time if you need to talk.

What about contraception?

As part of your abortion treatment, we'll help you find a method of contraception that best suits your individual needs.