Do I take abortion pills orally or vaginally?

Mifepristone, the first medication of a medication abortion, is swallowed orally. 

Misoprostol, the second medication, can be taken one of two ways; buccally (in the cheeks of your mouth) or vaginally. 


  • Either in a squatting position or lying on your back or side, use your finger to push 4 misoprostol tablets, one by one, deep into your vagina (at least one finger’s length inside). After the pills are inserted, lie down and wait for 30 minutes.

Buccal (between the cheeks of your mouth and gums):

  • Put 2 misoprostol pills on one side of your mouth (between your cheek and gums), and the other 2 on the other side of your mouth. Wait 30 minutes for the pills to dissolve, then swallow what is left of the pills. It is okay to swallow your saliva as the pills dissolve.

The medicine will work the same if you take it in your cheeks (buccally), but it can cause more nausea and other side effects.

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