It happens, so let’s get into what’s going on with your body and what you might expect with your first period after abortion. First of all, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is often stressful and the related anxiety can have an effect on your menstrual cycle, and those effects could last longer than you might expect.
When Do Periods Start After Abortion?
One of the most common questions that many women ask, is related to what to expect with regards to their period after abortion? Following an abortion, your body will start returning to normal fairly quickly. When pregnancy ends, your cycle resets. Your first ovulation after abortion should kick right back in and could start as early as 7-10 days. Similarly, your menstrual cycle should start within 4-8 weeks.
Of course, the exact time varies as it depends on each woman and also on how far along in your pregnancy a woman was at the time of termination. For example, for pregnancy terminated within the first trimester, your period after abortion will return within 4-6 weeks. For pregnancy terminated later than that, the periods will too take a little longer to recover.
Period Regularity After an Abortion
Returning to your period cycle is not a problem but for many women, they will experience an irregular period after abortion. The reason for an inconsistent period is mostly because your body retains some of the pregnancy hormones for a couple of months. Even after abortion, your body will continue to feel effects of these hormones. It is only when these hormones drain out entirely from your body that will be regular in your menstrual cycle just the way you were before your pregnancy.
Even when your menstrual cycle gets regular, there are many alterations due to abortion that you will continue to feel for as long as two years. These are changes in duration of each cycle, amount of bleeding and amount of cramping. You may also experience pregnancy symptoms during your cycles such as swollen breasts and fatigue. You might experience all this and more especially during the first few periods following abortion. You might also experience clotting and Post Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).
Cramping associated with menstruation is normal for the first few weeks. You can use hot pads or hot water bottle to ease discomfort. For acute pain, use over the counter drugs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen for relief. Be careful of Aspirin, though as it may increase bleeding.
If you have undergone a surgical abortion, chances are that your first period after abortion would be lighter and would not last long. If your period returns quickly, most medical professionals will advise that you not use tampons for a couple of weeks after a medical abortion. However, after surgical abortion is your first period is heavier and much longer in duration, call up your doctor. If you have undergone a medical abortion (abortion induced after taking medicine), you should expect more substantial and more extended periods in your first cycle.
No Period After Abortion for More than 8 Weeks
You should expect a period no longer than eight weeks following an abortion. If it has been over eight weeks without a period it could be because your body might be taking longer to heal; pregnancy affects all kind of hormones in your body, and it might take it a while to get back the way things were before you got pregnant.
When to Call the Doctor
As mentioned above, if after a surgical abortion, your first period is heavier you should call your doctor. Also, in case you do not get periods within 4 to 8 weeks, you should check with your doctor. Do not take a pregnancy test during this time because pregnancy hormone hCG may remain in your blood and urine for as long as eight weeks and would hence only give you false positive and undue anxiety.
Even if your menstrual cycle is taking a little extra time in returning, know that your ovulation cycle has already started as early as a week after abortion. Therefore, also if you did not have a period you can get pregnant. Hence always remember to use birth control when you resume sexual intercourse. If you use a cyclic hormonal birth control method — such as the pill, patch or ring — you should start the technique the same day as your procedure.