What is misoprostol? Key side effects and common uses

Does misoprostol provide a safer choice for some women?

In countries where abortion is legal the safest choice is, of course, to speak to a healthcare professional about the options available. Women's' health services can inform the decision in a safe and supportive environment.

But this is a luxury that many women do not have. Undoubtedly a medication abortion with misoprostol offers a safer choice than a 'back-street' or self-administered surgical abortion, where dirty instruments and lack of medical and emergency care pose a real danger to life. But the risks, both physically and mentally, of a medication abortion outside of a medical setting are still high.

In the age of the internet there is unprecedented access to information, communication channels, support and advice. One charitable organisation, 'Women on Waves', is using the internet (and a boat!) to bring access to safer medication abortion to women all around the World. They provide an online medical consultation as well as access to medicines and medical support in countries where abortion is illegal.

If you or someone you know needs help to make their decision in a safe, supportive and medicalised environment visit Women on Waves or Women on Web for more information.


1. Rebecca Allen, MD, MPH and Barbara M O'Brien, MD; Uses of Misoprostol in Obstetrics and Gynecology; Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynaecology; 2009 Summer; 2(3): 159-168; Accessed online on 22/8/16 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760893/


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