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From Northern Ireland

0333 234 2184

From Republic of Ireland

(Freephone) 1 800 200 374

Flying back to Ireland after Abortion

When you are ready to return home after your treatment, one of our Marie Stopes UK nurses will give you some advice with regards to travelling home. We will also give you a discreet leaflet which details precautionary measures to take if you are flying back to Ireland.


We strongly recommend travelling with a responsible adult.


Advice for your flight home

  1. Try to get up and move during the flight
  2. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid alcohol and don't drink too much caffeine

These precautions are there to avoid the risk of blood clots also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) which can occur during air travel. That being said, the fact that the flight back from Ireland is a short one means that the risks of VTE are very small.

Seek medical attention if you notice the following symptoms either during or soon after your flight:

  • Pain and/or swelling in the calf
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or fainting

Risk factors for VTE include

  • Being pregnant
  • Recent surgery (particularly pelvic)
  • Prolonged immobility including air travel
  • Dehydration
  • Taking the combined oral contraceptive pill

If you are particularly worried about this risk because of family history for example, please speak about this in more details with the nurse who will look after you when you receive treatment.

Specific consideration for travel after taking the abortion pill(s)

  • Managing bleeding and pain on your way back to Ireland

After a medical abortion – taking two sets of tablets - there is a risk that heavy bleeding might start before you get home to Ireland. If you have taken the abortion pills, you may also experience discomfort for a number of hours following the administration of the second tablet.

We therefore recommend that you carefully think about how you will manage possible bleeding and pain during your flight home before you leave Marie Stopes UK. Please know that our team will make sure you receive the appropriate amount of analgesia before leaving the centre if you are travelling. They are also here to respond to any queries you might have before or after your abortion so don’t hesitate to ask or contact our aftercare line.

  • Passing the pregnancy on your flight home

Following a medical abortion, you may pass the pregnancy anytime after taking the second set of tablets. When the bleeding gets heavier you may pass clots – this is usually when you begin to lose the pregnancy.

It typically happens within 4 to 5 hours and is usually completed within one to two days. But for some women, it can happen within 1 hour after the second set of tablets or up to 2 weeks after. Each person will have a different experience.

Read more about the medical abortion pill(s)

Side effects of medication

The medication you would have received for your abortion treatment may have unpleasant side effects which you might experience during your flight home. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shivering

This is why we recommend that you are accompanied and that you do not drive yourself home.

Read more on the how long will I need to stay in England for page

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From Northern Ireland

0333 234 2184

From Republic of Ireland

(Freephone) 1 800 200 374

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