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Understanding medical abortion

Reproductive health  •  16 November 2020  • 4 min read



In the previous blog, Marie Stopes brought you information on what options you have when faced with a pregnancy that you are not ready for.

Those options were medical abortion and manual vacuum aspiration. Today we will go more in-depth about what exactly medical abortion is, who is it for, and when is medical abortion recommended.

Medical abortion in a nutshell

To put it simply, medical abortion is the use of pills to induce abortion. Those pills are usually the combination of Mifepristone and Misoprostol, and they are taken in two steps.

Medical abortion should not be attempted if you haven’t confirmed pregnancy, as dangerous conditions such as Ectopic Pregnancy can test positive on a home pregnancy test kit as well.

You must understand that medical abortion comes from the recommendation of your health providers and it must not be attempted without proper guidance from health providers.

The process

According to the Marie Stopes International Guideline on Safe Abortion and Post-Abortion Care, medical abortion is recommended for pregnancies under 9 weeks gestation.

Medical abortion involves taking two types of pills to end your pregnancy under the recommendation of health professionals. These two pills are Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

Your pregnancy needs progesterone to grow and advance, and Mifepristone is the antagonist to progesterone production. Hence, its function is to halt pregnancy in its place. The first step of medical abortion is to take Mifepristone.

After 1 or 2 days of taking Mifepristone (you mustn’t exceed 48 hours), you must take the second pill which is called Misoprostol.

Misoprostol is a prostaglandin analogue which acts to stimulate uterus contraction and encourage the emptying of uterus contents. Within 4 to 6 hours of taking the second medicine, the lining of the womb breaks down, causing pain, bleeding and loss of the pregnancy.

At Marie Stopes International Clinics, we choose Mariprist (add MIFESO and Medabon as approved MA product in Cambodia) as our main termination treatment for medical abortion as it is a medication that is recommended by the World Health Organization for early medical abortion.

  • It includes one table (200 mg) of mifepristone and four tablets (200 mg each) of misoprostol.
  • Mariprist is up to 98% effective when used according to the dosing instructions provided.

Medical abortion precautions

The dose, duration, and timing of taking the pills depend on the condition and gestational age of your pregnancy. This is why it’s extremely important for us to stress that you must consult your local health center first before taking the pills. They will decide whether you can take the pills at home or at the clinic where they can monitor your condition and progress.

After the medical abortion, you must set up another appointment with your health provider to make sure all the products of conception are expelled properly.

(Add warning signs for when to seek immediate care. It’s on the Mariprist website)

Medical abortion is a common and simple procedure that is highly recommended during early term abortion. Marie Stopes International Clinics will provide all the necessary steps and counselling to make sure you have a safe and healthy medical abortion.

You can check out our video on medical abortion on YouTube:


  1. MSI Guidelines for Safe Abortion and Post-abortion Care – Marie Stopes International (2018)
  2. https://www.mariestopes.org/what-we-do/our-services/safe-abortion-and-post-abortion-care-img/
  3. https://www.mariprist.com/mariprist-professionals/about-mariprist/what-is-mariprist/

If you have any questions about medical abortion, and other contraceptive methods, consult with @MarieStopesKH now:
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✓ www.mariestopes.org.kh/contact-us-form/

Get in touch

Contact us to learn more about us, receive free consultation, or book an appointment.

012 999 002 / 098 999 102



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