What can you expect after an abortion?

ribbon Medically reviewed Aug 2020 by Robin Watkins, CNM, WHNP-BC

After an abortion procedure, you’ll spend a little time in a recovery room before heading home.

If you’ve been given sedatives, you’ll need someone to help you get home, like a partner, friend, or family member, even if you’re taking public transportation or taking a cab or ride service.

If you have an abortion procedure, you may have some cramping and bleeding in the days after your abortion, but it should taper off over the next week or so. Some people have almost no bleeding, and others have spotting that lasts a few weeks. It varies from person to person, but generally the earlier in pregnancy you have the abortion, the less cramping and bleeding you can expect afterwards. You can go back to regular activities the very next day, and you can have sex again as soon as you feel ready.

If you choose the abortion pill, once you’ve passed the pregnancy tissue, bleeding should decrease over a few days. Just like with the abortion procedure, you can go back to work, school, taking care of your kids, or your other normal activities the next day and you can have sex again as soon as you feel ready.

Some health care providers will recommend a follow-up appointment a few weeks after your medication abortion to make sure the pregnancy is over.

Some health care providers prescribe preventive antibiotics for all people having an abortion.

You should get your period 4 to 6 weeks after you have an abortion. But you can get pregnant again before then if you aren’t using birth control and you’re having penis-in-vagina sex.

If you’d like, here’s how to start on birth control after your abortion. If it’s been 8 weeks or more since your abortion, and you haven’t had a period, contact a health care provider

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