At Stony Brook Women’s Health, we want all of our patients to be fully informed about this delicate decision. These are general post-abortion FAQs that we hear. For more specific questions, you should talk to the doctor at your visit, or reach out to us via email or phone.
Most abortion patients recover fairly quickly after the procedure. In fact, women often return to work and other activities the following day. However, the recovery time can vary from person to person. It’s important to understand normal side effects after an abortion, and when you should call the doctor about severe side effects. Take a look at some of the most common questions we receive to learn more about life after an abortion
Q: How long after having an abortion can I resume my normal activities?
With both surgical and medical abortions, you should go home and rest immediately following the procedure. You will be able to resume to normal actives the following day. However, you should avoid strenuous activities or anything that causes pain. Most of our patients return a day or two after their abortion. If needed, the doctor will write notes for missed work without disclosing details. There are some slight differences between the abortion side effects of surgical and medical abortions.
Q: Why am I still testing positive on a home pregnancy test?
It is extremely unlikely that you will be pregnant following the procedure. If a pregnancy test is showing positive after the abortion, it is because the pregnancy hormones are still being detected. During your followup visit, the doctor will check that you are no longer pregnant.
Q: How soon after can I use tampons or have sex?
We recommend that you put nothing in your vagina for at least 2-3 weeks. Use only sanitary pads for spotting and no penetration of any kind. This is because there is an increased risk of infection until the cervix is fully healed. It is important that you take the antibiotics as directed. Also, we recommend not douching, swimming, bathing, or sitting in a tub of water.
Q: How long will the bleeding and cramping last?
It is possible that you will bleed or spot from 1-4 weeks after the procedure. The flow can vary from light to heavy, with an increase if you exercise. Blood clots are also normal and can appear very dark. Cramping can last for several days. If bleeding and cramping is prolonged or extremely heavy, contact our office.
Q: When will I get my regular period?
Typically, your next menstrual period will begin 4-7 weeks following an abortion. It is important to know that you can get pregnant before then, and should use birth control. If you use hormonal birth control (the pill, Nuva Ring, etc) then you should start your contraception the same day as the procedure.
Q: Can I get pregnant after an abortion?
Yes! Routine early abortions do not cause infertility. This is equally true for both medical and surgical abortions. If you do not want to get pregnant, you will need to use protection as you can conceive immediately following.