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FAQ: Can I get the abortion pill in Canada?

Did you know that the abortion pill is now available in Ontario? It is! And as it becomes more available and accessible to people across the country, there are naturally lots of questions about it. This post covers some of our most frequently asked questions about the abortion pill.

Q: What is Mifegymiso?

Mifegymiso, also known as Mifepristone in other places in the world, is a medical abortion drug you take orally. It can be used to end pregnancies of up to 9 weeks. (If you are more than 9 weeks pregnant, you will likely need to look into other abortion methods: Link).

Mifegymiso is a package that contains two drugs:

  1. Mifepristone which stops the pregnancy from continuing, and
  2. Misoprostol which expels the pregnancy tissue.

Mifegymiso comes in a box with one mifepristone tablet, and 4 misoprostol. First you take the one mifepristone tablet. About 24-48 hours later you take the 4 misoprostol tablets by putting them between your cheek and your gums and letting them dissolve. They should dissolve after half an hour. The pregnancy tissue generally releases within 24 hours.

Even though Canada just approved Mifegymiso, it’s been used in countries all over the world for years.

Q: How Can I Get It?

Mifegymiso can be recommended for people who are up to 9 weeks pregnant. You can only get it with a prescription.  This can come from any clinician who has taken the training to administer the drug. This could be from a dedicated abortion provider, some sexual health care providers, and potentially even your family doctor.

Right now in Toronto, you can get Mifegymiso at:

You can take your prescription to any pharmacy who carries the pill. You will still need to schedule a follow-up appointment with the clinician who wrote you the prescription.

Q: How much does it cost?

Currently, Mifegymiso is free in Ontario if you have OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Mifegymiso is also free in B.C., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Alberta.

If you don’t have OHIP, the pills can cost between $300-$450.

Q: What’s the appointment like?

That depends on where you go to get it. As an example, The Bay Centre for Birth Control in Toronto breaks it down into 2 appointments.

The first appointment is similar to what you’d do for any other abortion procedure. You usually talk to someone about how you’re feeling about getting an abortion, as well as getting information on the procedure, aftercare, and any potential risks or side-effects. They then do some tests, usually blood work and STI testing, and then run an ultrasound. You then take the mifepristone with the clinician if you’d like, or you can take the prescription to a pharmacy and do it on your own.

Your second appointment is usually a week or 2 later, after you’ve taken the 4 misoprostol tablets. They’ll often do a blood test and an exam to make sure you’re not pregnant and that everything else in the procedure went well.

Q: Are there any side-effects?

Mifegymiso is a medical abortion procedure, which, like any medication, affects people differently.

Common side-effects could include:

Remember to check with your clinician if you notice any symptoms that you’re concerned about.

For more info on possible after-abortion side-effects and ways to take care of yourself, check out our info page: Link.

Q: Is Mifegymiso right for me?

This is tough to say. It depends on your individual situation, and what your priorities are. There are pros and cons to any abortion procedure. Here are some things to consider when deciding if Mifegymiso is right for you:

To find out where to get mifegymiso near you, you can contact us to help you find a provider, or you can contact Action Canada for Sexual Health Rights, or contact a Planned Parenthood near you.

Resources:

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]