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Abortion Pill Failure Rate

According to the the UK’s largest abortion provider 2 in 100 women taking DIY abortion pills at home will undergo a failed abortion. 


However DIY abortion drugs acknowledge much higher failure rates. Ranbaxy (UK) Limited manufactures the treatment combination used by BPAS for its pills-by-post clients. It states that:


The non-negligible risk of failure, which occurs in 4.5 to 7.8% of the cases, makes the follow-up visit mandatory in order to check that abortion is complete. The patient should be informed that surgical treatment may be required to achieve complete abortion.


Linepharma which manufactures drugs used by MSI Reproductive Choices also warns:


The non-negligible risk of failure, which occurs in up to 7.6% of the cases, makes the control visit mandatory in order to check that the expulsion is completed.


Percuity Limited conducted research into the prevalence of medical abortion failures by sending freedom of information requests to each of the 127 NHS Trusts and Foundation trusts which provide hospital services. 85 Trusts responded, representing about 80% of the population of England.


The data analysis shows that on average 5.9% of women having an induced medical abortion are subsequently treated at an NHS hospital for complications arising from an incomplete abortion with retained products of conception.


1 in 17 women requiring hospital treatment is an unacceptable failure rate for medication taken in the home. “This is not a ‘rare’ complication”.  Medically a ‘rare’ complication should only affect 1 in 10,000 people. 

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