Q: How much bleeding is normal?
A: You may bleed heavily, moderately, lightly or not at all, for one to three weeks after the abortion.
Some women do not start to bleed until several days after the abortion, some stop bleeding and then start again, some pass clots with strong cramps for several days. It is normal to experience increased cramping or bleeding for up to four or five days after your procedure.
- Use Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) for relief of cramping symptoms if needed
- Aspirin (ASA) may increase bleeding.
Q: How much bleeding is abnormal?
A: If you have soaked through more than 3 pads in 2-3 hours OR if you notice blood clots larger than the size of a lemon, call the clinic where you had the procedure and inform them.
Q: When can I have sex again?
A: You should avoid sex for 1 week. It’s important to know you can get pregnant almost immediately following an abortion.
Q: How long until my period starts again?
A: Your normal period should begin three to six weeks after the abortion, unless you are on birth control pills, Depo Provera (the shot) or have a Mirena.
Q: Can I use tampons?
A: You should avoid putting anything into your vagina, including tampons, for 1 week following an abortion. Use sanitary towels for 1 to 2 weeks after treatment. Tampons can then be used for your next menstrual period.
Q: Will I still feel pregnancy symptoms after an abortion?
A: Any morning sickness should disappear within two days, and breast changes usually settle by the end of the first week, but both may persist if you are on the birth control pill. It is very unlikely, but you may notice a milky discharge from your breasts after the abortion. Do not express the fluid – it will go away on its own within two weeks.
Q: When should I start using birth control again?
A: You should start using birth control (e.g. Pill, Patch, Ring, Shot, or IUD) or STD protection immediately.
Important Post-Procedure Information
- You should feel “back to normal” after about two weeks, but if you have medical concerns contact a health care provider like your family doctor, youth clinic, OPT clinic, or schedule a follow-up appointment at the clinic where you had the procedure.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes for 3 hours after the procedure, to avoid feeling faint.
- Take antibiotics IF they were given to you.
- You must contact the clinic if you have any unexpected hospitalizations within 30 days of the procedure.