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Bleeding Immediately Following Your Abortion

If you undergo a surgical abortion, the bleeding that follows the procedure tends to be lighter than the bleeding you would experience during a menstrual period. Some women will not bleed at all within the first few days, only to experience some blood loss on the third or fourth day after the procedure. In some cases, women will have bleeding that is a little heavier than the heaviest day of their normal menstrual flow. It is also possible to pass small clots. 

While not experiencing any bleeding at all after a surgical abortion is within the realm of normal, it is also possible that you will bleed, on and off, for up to six weeks after your abortion.

If you undergo a medical abortion, you will experience more bleeding. During this bleeding, which will almost certainly be heavier than the heaviest day of your menstrual flow, the gestational sac will detach and be expelled — so do not be afraid if you notice tissue. The worst of the bleeding should be over within one or two days, however it is completely normal to experience light blood loss for around two weeks after the procedure. 

Caring For Yourself After Your Abortion

You are likely to experience some degree of menstrual-like cramps after having an abortion, particularly if you have a medical pregnancy termination. In order to manage the pain and discomfort, you can take a non-blood thinning over the counter pain killer such as ibuprofen. Gently massaging your uterus will also help with the cramps, as will using hot compresses on the abdominal area.

Use maxi pads following your abortion to catch and monitor your blood loss, and inform your clinic if you persistently need to change your pads more than once an hour within the first days following a surgical abortion or for more than two days after a medical abortion. 

Note: do not use tampons or insert anything else into the vagina within the first weeks after having an abortion, as this greatly increases your risk of infection.

Regardless of whether you are still bleeding or not, it is important to attend your clinic for a follow-up examination as scheduled, usually two or three weeks after the procedure. 

When After A Pregnancy Termination Will Your Normal Period Return?

Most women will find that they will get their first menstrual period within four to eight weeks after their abortion, or even earlier in the case of very early first-trimester terminations. This first period may be heavier or lighter than the menstrual periods you are used to. Your periods may also be irregular for a little while. If your periods followed a predictable cycle prior to having an abortion, they will gradually return to normal.

Women who already had irregular menstrual cycles before they had a termination may have to wait up to 12 weeks before they have another period. 

Many women worry that not having a period within a month of their abortion means they are still pregnant. This should not be a concern, as long as you attend your follow-up examination. An ultrasound carried out at your follow-up appointment two to three weeks after your abortion should confirm that your body has successfully expelled all pregnancy-related tissues, and that you are no longer pregnant. 

Women who have still not experienced a period 12 weeks after their procedure should make an appointment with their clinic. 

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