PregnancyTerminationWhat to Expect After an Abortion

What to Expect After an Abortion


Sometimes the right decision is the most difficult one. The decision to go through abortion is sometimes the right one to make. This decision is challenging, stressful and saddening for most women, but understanding what to expect after an abortion is important. There are pphysical, mental and emotional changes that could follow. On this site you will find a checklist of what a women might expect after having an abortion including what’s to expect of your first period after an abortion.

What to Expect After an Abortion, Bleeding

The first thing outcome of your termination of pregnancy procedure is the start of bleeding. This bleeding generally lasts for 1-2 weeks, however, varies heavily from person to person.
What To Expect after an abortion – Bleeding means discharge of blood, tissues and clots. This bleeding can be light or much heavier than your regular menstrual cycle. Bleeding can also bring along cramps and bloating.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – Check with the doctor if you are experiencing heavy bleeding, i.e. 2 or more sanitary pads per hour for 2 hours in a row. Also inform doctor if you pass white, grey or green discharge in bleeding.

Blood Clots After Abortion

Bleeding, which lasts for about 1-2 weeks after abortion, often includes blood clots. Clots are passed on and off and might cause cramping.
What To Expect – You can expect clots of red, brown or black color. Cramping can be smoothened by heating pads and hot water bottles.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – Check with your doctor is you pass blood clots bigger than the size of a golf ball or if you are continuously passing clots for two hours in a row.

Brown Discharge After Abortion

Brown discharge is your body cleaning itself by throwing out the leftover tissues from abortion. It is similar to the discharge many of us experience after our menstrual cycle.
What To Expect – Discharge changing colour to whitish or yellowish couple of weeks after abortion.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – Inform the doctor if your discharge is foul smelling and is followed by fever, chills or dizziness.

Bloating After Abortion

After abortion procedure, it is likely that you will feel bloated or puffier around abdomen. Such swelling essentially roots from bleeding and hormonal changes that your body will go through.

What To Expect – Bloating or abdominal swelling will last not more than 5 days. Soon a week after the procedure bloating will start resolving all by itself. Just take care of yourself and stay hydrated.

Normal – Yes

When to Check With the Doctor – The doctor must be immediately informed if bloating is followed by severe abdominal tenderness and cramping and excessive bleeding.

Ovulation After Abortion

As soon as you undergo abortion, your body starts with a new cycle. That means you are most likely to ovulate within 2-3 weeks of your procedure.
What To Expect – Ovulation implies that the body is getting ready for conception again. After abortion, for most women, ovulation occurs weeks before their menstrual cycles. This means that the issue of birth control should be taken seriously as soon as the abortion procedure is complete.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – Before or soon after you go through the abortion procedure, take in-depth advice from your doctor about issues related to ovulation, conception and contraception.

Period After Abortion

Following abortion, your body starts getting back to normalcy. As ovulation cycle takes place within couple of weeks of procedure, menstrual cycle starts within 4-8 weeks.
What To Expect – Initially menstrual cycle will be irregular in many ways like – amount of blood flow, number of days in cycle, amount of cramping – and might even be on again off again for few months. Cramping will be the biggest problem with it.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – Check with your doctor if you do not get your period even by 8th week of the procedure.

Sex After Abortion

Few weeks after abortion, as you well physically and emotionally healed, you are ready to resume sex with your partner.
What To Expect – Cramping and bleeding might be experienced during initial sex after abortion. Doctors advice waiting for at least 2-4 weeks before you resume sex.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – Symptoms such as lasting pain, sever and continuous bleeding and unusual vaginal discharge after sex point infection. In any of the above cases, seek doctor’s advice instantly.

Positive Pregnancy Test After Abortion

Abortion procedure gets completed within a day. However, your body will take time to clean itself of pregnancy related tissues and hormones. Therefore, even after you just had abortion, you can get a positive pregnancy test.
What To Expect – Till 6-8 weeks after pregnancy, it is highly likely that you will get a positive on pregnancy test, but that positive would most probably be false.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – If you are sure that your pregnancy test is a true positive, it is advisable to seek doctor’s counseling immediately so that the future course of this new pregnancy can be decided.

Depression After Abortion

Understanding what to expect after an abortion includes understanding that along the way, you may experience severe mood changes. However, sometimes these emotions can get intense and so overwhelming that you may feel that there is no way out for you. In such times, seek help from family and friends.
What To Expect – Common symptoms such as guilt, anger, grief, remorse, flashbacks and disruption of interpersonal relationships.
Normal – Yes
When to Check With the Doctor – If you see no way out of the spiral of depression, it is better to take help from an experienced therapist. Therapy and counseling are also must if depression is manifesting itself as suicidal tendencies or loss of reality.

Hi, I'm Samantha. I live in Seattle and I develop logistics management software. I'm also a fitness and health advocate and an assistant editor for the AP!

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