Side effects & warning signs

Mariprist is a safe and effective abortion medication containing mifepristone and misoprostol, but it is normal to experience some side effects after using it.

You can expect to have moderate to heavy vaginal bleeding - normally heavier than a period - and mild to strong cramps, throughout and after. Bleeding and cramps are a sign the abortion is working, and will usually lessen after the contents of the uterus are expelled.

How to prepare

Before using Mariprist we recommend that you find a private, comfortable space where you can lie down for a few hours. Have some painkillers and water handy, and if you’re able to, ask a close friend, partner or family member to stay with you. They can provide emotional support to you and help spot any warning signs.

Remember that we are always here to help you too, so please contact us if you have any concerns.

It’s also a good idea to make a note of your nearest medical facility and how to get there. Serious complications are uncommon, but you should be prepared in case you do need to seek medical attention quickly.

Side effects of Mariprist

After using Mariprist you may experience some side effects, including:

  • Moderate to heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and low grade fever
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches

The cramping and bleeding can last for several hours. It’s also normal to see large blood clots (up to the size of a lemon) or clumps of pregnancy tissue when this is happening.

Most people finish passing the pregnancy tissue in 4-5 hours, but you don’t need to worry if it happens sooner or later than this. The cramping and bleeding slows down after the pregnancy tissue comes out. You may have cramping on and off for 1 or 2 more days.

It’s normal to have some bleeding and spotting for several weeks after your abortion. Using menstrual pads can help you track how much you bleed.

If you have a lot of nausea and you’re worried about vomiting after using Mariprist, speak to your pharmacist or healthcare provider who may be able to give you medication to relieve this.

Warning signs after using Mariprist

The side effects listed above are normal and serious complications are rare, but you should be aware of any warning signs that may require medical attention.

You should seek medical help immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Severe bleeding - this means you are soaking through 2 or more large sanitary pads per hour for 2 hours in a row after taking misoprostol
  • No bleeding or very light bleeding 24-48 hours after taking misoprostol
  • High fever - more than 38° and/or lasting for more than 24 hours
  • Severe and increasing abdominal pain - if this doesn’t lessen after taking painkillers, or occurs over 24 hours after taking misoprostol
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Significantly distended abdomen (bloating)
  • Severe and persistent vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Feeling very sick, with or without fever

How to manage your pain after using Mariprist

Most women will experience some stomach cramps and abdominal pain during a medical abortion because uterine contractions are needed to expel or push out the pregnancy.

Most of the time this pain can be managed very effectively at home. You can get painkillers from your local clinic or over the counter from your local pharmacy to help manage your pain. Some options they may suggest include:

  • Paracetamol 500mg tablets - take 1 or 2 tablets every four to six hours when required. Do not take more than 8 tablets in a 24-hour period.

  • Ibuprofen 200mg tablets - take 1 or 2 tablets every six to eight hours with food when required.

Applying a heat pack or hot water bottle to below the stomach may help to ease the pain. As much as possible, you should make sure you are in a relaxed environment with supportive people there to assist you. You can also try some non-strenuous activities to distract yourself, such as listening to music, watching a movie, taking a shower, or reading.

If you experience severe or persistent pain, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What to do if you think the abortion wasn’t successful

Mariprist has been found to be up to 98% effective when used for early abortion (up to 9 weeks). However, if after using it you didn’t bleed or are still experiencing pregnancy symptoms after 2 weeks, you should speak to a medical professional or contact us.

Get in touch

Do you have questions about Mariprist or your options?
Contact us for an informal and confidential chat.

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