Home Abortion Care What to Expect
What to Expect After Your Abortion
Will I bleed or feel pain?

Most women experience some bleeding after this type of procedure. The flow can vary and may last a few days to a few weeks. You may not bleed at all or bleed only lightly, or have a flow similar to a period. You may bleed and stop, then start again several days later.

3 - 5 Day Syndrome:
A common bleeding pattern is to experience cramping and passing clots (which may be large) or experience an increase in flow, 3-5 days after the procedure. The cramping may occur before passing clots. Clots are normal, and may be passed off and on for a few weeks.

Retained Clots:
In 2-5% of abortions, for unknown reasons, clots may cover the opening of the cervix, causing blood to fill the uterus. This is accompanied by severe cramping and little or no bleeding, and can occur within hours or up to 5 days after the abortion. Often a hot shower with abdominal massage will provide relief and alleviate the problem. Rarely, it is necessary to re-evacuate the uterus, which provides almost immediate relief.

As the uterus returns to its normal size, you may experience cramps for several days after the abortion, or not at all. You may take medications and follow the comfort measures outlined in the Post-Abortion Instructions section of our website.

Should I take it easy?
Listen to your body. Get extra rest if you feel you need it, if you are easily fatigued, or if you have cramps or heavy bleeding. You may resume normal activities as soon as you feel up to it. You should avoid heavy lifting (more than 25 lbs.) and strenuous exercise for at least one week. We can provide excuses for school or work if needed.

When will I get my period?
You can expect to get a normal period about 4 to 8 weeks after the abortion. We cannot predict exactly when you will get your period because pregnancy and abortion affect you menstrual cycle. The pregnancy hormone, HCG, may remain in your blood and urine for up to 8 weeks after your termination. Therefore, it is recommended that you NOT perform any type of pregnancy test. False positive results may be obtained and can cause you undue anxiety.

Why should I have a follow-up exam?
It is extremely important to have a follow-up examination and repeat urine pregnancy test 3 - 4 weeks after the abortion to be sure you are completely healed and discover and treat any problems that may have developed. AWC provides this exam at no charge if scheduled within 4 weeks of the abortion. Keep this appointment, even if you are still bleeding. If you go to your own doctor for follow-up, it is important to contact us first if any problems develop and keep us informed about your progress.