What You Need to Know About Inducing a Miscarriage

Miscarriages should not be induced unless under a doctor's supervision

Unhappy woman in bathroom with pregnancy test
Getty Images/Tom Merton

Every day, numerous people scour the Web looking for information on how to induce or force a miscarriage. In the toughest of circumstances, it can be tempting to want to take matters into your own hands. However, doing so is incredibly dangerous and never recommended unless supervised by a medical professional.

If you are researching how to induce a miscarriage because you have an unwanted pregnancy, please do not risk your health by attempting unsafe methods of ending your pregnancy.

Research your options for handling unplanned pregnancy and find someone who can help you handle the situation safely. There are numerous resources out there, as well as support resources for those without friends and family who can help.

Inducing a miscarriage on your own is never a good idea. By trying to induce your own miscarriage, you are not only risking the life of the fetus but your own life as well. Taking foreign pills or overdosing on supplements is dangerous to your health –– posing both long- and short-term risks. Procedures performed by those other than a licensed medical professional can also jeopardize your future reproductive health.

There is no safe and reliable way to induce a miscarriage without the involvement of a doctor. In dire situations, it may be tempting to follow the anecdotal suggestions that float around the Internet. However, these seemingly "helpful tips," such as engaging in heavy exercise or ingesting abortifacient herbs, are not recommended by medical professionals and can be hazardous to your health.

In the case of herbs, in order to take a high enough quantity of herbs to induce a miscarriage, you may also be running the risk of severe health complications –– potentially even death.

Avoiding Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

If you have been diagnosed with a missed miscarriage or blighted ovum, you may be researching inducing miscarriage in order to avoid a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure –– a procedure which removes tissue from your uterus.

Unfortunately, there is no safe way to speed up a miscarriage on your own. As mentioned above, there is no safe way to induce your own miscarriage –– even if it is inevitable that you are going to miscarry.

If your situation involves a missed miscarriage, talk to your doctor about whether you might be able to use a drug like misoprostol to expedite the miscarriage. If you had a silent miscarriage, the time it takes for your body to naturally expel the tissue can vary. If the miscarriage was early in your pregnancy, it might take less time than if the miscarriage occurred later in your pregnancy. Drugs like misoprostol can help you avoid a D&C as well as avoid waiting for the miscarriage bleeding to begin. Misoprostol should only be used under a physician's supervision due to the risk of heavy bleeding and other side effects. It is not safe to order any of these drugs online or purchase them from nonmedical sources.

Abortion and Miscarriage Resources


Anderson, I.B., W.H. Mullen, J.E. Meeker, S.C. Khojasteh-Bakht, S. Oishi, S.D. Nelson, and P.D. Blanc, "Pennyroyal toxicity: measurement of toxic metabolite levels in two cases and review of the literature." Annals of Internal Medicine Apr 1996. 

Ciganda, C., and A. Laborde, "Herbal infusions used for induced abortion." Journal of Clinical Toxicology 2003. 

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