What Will Happen After My Abortion?

Once you have made the decision to have an abortion, you will probably have questions about how you will feel afterwards. The “side effects” will vary from woman to woman. However, there are several common things that may occur for you after your procedure.

Should I Expect Bleeding?

It is absolutely normal to bleed after you have a surgical abortion. The amount of blood is typically very light. In fact, menstruation tends to produce more blood than a surgical abortion does. Vaginal bleeding may continue to happen for several days following your abortion.

Bleeding may be heavier after a medical abortion. This is because that after a medical abortion, the gestational sac becomes detached from the uterus and is expelled with the blood. This is normal. If you happen to notice tissue, or clots, be assured that this is perfectly normal. The heavy blood flow should not last any more than 2 days, but some lighter bleeding may occur for up to two weeks after the abortion. You should definitely avoid using tampons, so use pads for vaginal bleeding. If you have to change your pad more than once an hour, consult your doctor.

Will I Be in Pain?

In addition to the bleeding, you may experience some slight pain. Abdominal cramps are very common after an abortion. Pain can come or go for as much as two weeks. During this time, it is best to avoid sexual intercourse. Having sex will only exacerbate the pain. Avoid using any lubricants as well, as that could cause an infection.

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How Long Will it Be Until I Get My Period?

Usually, your first menstrual period will start about 4 weeks after your abortion. They can, however, start earlier or later than that. If the pregnancy was terminated very early on, it is likely that your period will start sooner. For many women, the flow of the first period after an abortion is quite heavy. Sometimes however, a lighter than normal flow can occur.

Can I Expect to Have A Regular Cycle?

It is very common to have an irregular menstrual cycle following an abortion procedure. This is because it will take some time for your hormonal balance to return to normal. Although it is an easy procedure, terminating a pregnancy can cause your body to take some time to function normally. If you have an irregular cycle to begin with, you may be waiting up to 12 weeks for your first period.


The staff of Stony Brook Women’s Health is here to make sure that you have as easy a procedure as possible. If you have any more questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us anytime.