It isn’t uncommon to worry about when you will have your next period after abortion. The recovery period is very individual and is up to your body and how you take care of yourself during this time. It also depends on how far along you were when you had the procedure done. It could be weeks, or up to a couple of months.

The important thing to understand is knowing the difference between post-abortion bleeding and your first period returning after having an abortion. Remember that ovulation usually occurs somewhere around fourteen days before your period and if you had an abortion, it will be hard to gauge when this will happen. You can get pregnancy again in the weeks following an abortion if you have unprotected sex. This article will help you understand the difference between recovery bleeding and a true menstrual period.

When Do You Get the First Period After Abortion?

Bleeding after Abortion

After you have an abortion, you may have bleeding anywhere from 2 weeks and up to 6 weeks. Recovery bleeding is usually heavy the first few days and will taper off. If you were farther along, you may have “period like” bleeding for couple of weeks. Then it will begin to taper off around the third week.

Sometime after the bleeding begins to taper off, your body will begin preparing for your first menstrual cycle. This may happen weeks after you have stopped your recovery bleeding because the pregnancy hormones need to go away first.

First Period after Abortion

Most of the time, women experience their first regular period within 4 to 8 weeks post-abortion. You need to let your doctor know if you think you are still having recovery bleeding after 8 weeks and/or your regular period has not returned. This is especially important if you are still having symptoms of pregnancy.

Also, it is very important to follow your doctor’s after care advice regarding sexual intercourse. It is often advised to wait up to six weeks after an abortion to resume sexual activity. Remember to use a method of birth control or protection if you don’t wish to become pregnant.

What Is Period After Abortion Like?

Your first period after a medication abortion with misoprostol may be very heavy. You may notice blood clots and have worse cramps than before the pregnancy. This only lasts a few cycles and is the body’s natural way of expelling all of the tissue and products of conception.

If you had a surgical abortion, your periods may return and be a lighter flow that prior to the pregnancy. It also may be shorter than normal. If you had a surgical abortion and you have heavy flow or are passing clots and tissue, you need to contact your doctor right away. There may still be products of conception left in the uterus.

A Word About Post Abortion Ovulation, Sex and Pregnancy:

It is possible to have a period after an abortion without ovulation. Your body may or may not ovulate before this first cycle. You never know if you have ovulated or not so if you do not want another pregnancy, remember to use protection.

Ovulation after an abortion usually occurs before the second cycle after the procedure. This is because your body needs time to get rid of all the hormones from the pregnancy and return to its normal cycle. At this time however, your body may not be ready for sexual intercourse so go with your doctor’s advice. This is especially true if you had a surgical abortion. It can also put you at risk for infection if the cervix has not fully healed and closed.

Understand that your body is not ready to deal with another pregnancy until you have fully healed. It is advisable to wait a few months before trying to become pregnant or putting yourself at risk for a new pregnancy.

What If Mine Is Abnormal? Should I Worry?

Your doctor can let you know what to watch out for with your next period. If you have continuous bleeding, passing of tissue, or blood clots you should contact your doctor and let them know. If you are soaking more than two pads an hour, you may need emergency medical attention.

It is also important to contact your doctor if your periods do not return after eight weeks and you still have pregnancy symptoms or a fever. This signals that there may still be products of conception in the uterus and you may need to have another procedure to clear the rest. It is possible for some women to have symptoms of pregnancy for a few months after having an abortion. Let your doctor know if you do have symptoms that continue.

There are cases of women having trouble with their periods for as long as a few years after having an abortion. Periods tend to last longer with heavier flow, and more cramps than before. These problems may occur in cycles of several months and then get better for several months.

Another woman’s experience about period after abortion:

“I had an abortion around 3 weeks ago and my doctor told me I may have a period around two weeks after the abortion. I haven’t started yet, so I went to see my doctor. She did an exam and my uterus was still 8 weeks size, but she said everything looked fine. I keep thinking there is still something in there, but I have no symptoms of pregnancy anymore. I was just worried because I didn’t have any bleeding after the abortion. They did a pregnancy test and ultrasound and both were negative. I guess I will just give my body more time.”      ---- Carrie

Tips for Self Care after Abortion

Take care of your body after an abortion. The following tips can help your body heal faster and help you get your first period after abortion in a timely manner:

  • Rest for as long as the doctor recommends
  • Have emotional support to help you with your feelings
  • Use protection when having intercourse
  • See your doctor for follow-up care
  • Avoid heavy lifting

What Should I Watch Out For?

Contact your doctor with any concerns about the above. Heavy bleeding may be a medical emergency, call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room.

  • Heavy bleeding soaking more than two pads an hour
  • Passing large clots with painful cramping
  • Passing tissue with painful cramping
  • Foul smelling discharge
  • Fever over 100.1 F
  • Post-abortion bleeding that does not go away after 8 weeks
  • No period after 8 weeks