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Inducing a Miscarriage

What You Need to Know Before You Try to Cause a Miscarriage


Updated May 30, 2014

Every day, numerous people scour the Web looking for information on how to "induce a miscarriage." Common search phrases in search engines include "force a miscarriage," "how to cause a miscarriage," or other wordings with a similar idea.

If you are searching for this information, you are probably in one of two situations. You either have been diagnosed with a missed miscarriage or blighted ovum and you want to avoid a D & C, or you are currently facing an unwanted pregnancy and your circumstances make it difficult to seek an abortion.

In either situation, there is really no safe and reliable way to "induce" a miscarriage at home without the involvement of a doctor. There are numerous anecdotal suggestions around the Internet, such as engaging in heavy exercise or ingesting abortifacient herbs, but most of these methods are either ineffective or involve significant health risks. 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.

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. You should be able to avoid a D & C but also avoid the possibly lengthy wait for the miscarriage bleeding. Misoprostol should only be used under a physician's supervision because of the risk of heavy bleeding or other side effects.

If you are researching "how to induce a miscarriage" because you have an unwanted pregnancy, please don't take risks with 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 to help you with this if you do not have friends and family who can support you.


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. Accessed 31 Jul 2008.

Ciganda, C., and A. Laborde, "Herbal infusions used for induced abortion." Journal of Clinical Toxicology 2003. Accessed 31 Jul 2008.

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