Period After Abortion – Symptoms, Changes and Self Care Tips

A woman holding her stomach in pain

Some women may feel a little anxious thinking about their next period after an abortion. The recovery process may be different for every woman as it depends on factors like how their bodies coped with the abortion, how well they looked after their health after the abortion, and how far their pregnancy had progressed before the abortion.

But it is important to understand the difference between post-abortion bleeding and the start of regular periods after an abortion. In case of surgical abortion, bleeding after the procedure is normal which should not be mistaken for normal menstrual periods.

Moreover, abortions that occur in the second trimester of pregnancy may pose health issues both physically and mentally. On the whole, most women usually experience irregular or delayed periods after an abortion.

When do Periods Start after an Abortion?

 An alarm clock, calendar and a sanitary pad.

After the abortion, some bleeding for 2 to 6 weeks is considered normal. The post-abortion bleeding is normally heavier in the beginning but may become lighter eventually. After the recovery bleeding has tapered down, the body may start preparing for the first-period cycle after the abortion which can take several weeks.

Women who have an abortion during the first trimester of their pregnancy are likely to get their first period after the abortion within 4 to 8 weeks. However, in case it seems that the recovery bleeding may have extended for beyond 8 weeks and the regular period has not started yet, contact your doctor.

It is also important to keep in mind that even after the abortion the pregnancy hormone levels in the body may be high which can cause changes in the menstrual cycle. Also, abortion does not affect the fertility. So in case of unprotected sex, you can get pregnant again

Sign and Symptoms of Menstruation after Abortion

A woman suffering from period pain.

Some signs and symptoms of menstruation after abortion can be:

  • After surgical abortion procedure, it is normal to experience heavy bleeding, no bleeding or erratic bleeding for several weeks.
  • After abortion by a medical procedure, heavier bleeding than a surgical abortion is considered normal.
  • You may pass some tissues while bleeding which usually last for a couple of days.
  • Sometimes it takes time for your regular period to start. Your body may be taking more time to heal from the abortion process or to expel the pregnancy hormones from your body. You may also get delayed period if you are suffering from stress and depression.

Changes in Period Cycle after Abortion

There may be certain changes in the period cycle after abortion which can be as follows:

1. Change in the Flow

If abortion was through a surgical process, the first time you get your periods, the flow may be lighter. Further, it may last only for a few days, unlike your normal period. But in case you experience heavy bleeding which continues unusually for days together, contact your doctor. Nevertheless, if abortion was through medical means, you may experience heavy periods.

2. Some New Symptoms

You may find that the periods after the abortion are unlike your regular periods. You may now experience painful cramping, large blood clots or some pregnancy symptoms like a lower backache, swollen breasts, fatigue. These changes are likely to last for a few menstruation cycles.

3. Irregular Period

After an abortion, you are likely to experience irregularities while menstruating. For example, you may notice light bleeding 2 weeks after period. The abnormalities can happen due to the presence of pregnancy hormones in your body.

What if you Have Abnormal Period?

The sudden termination of the pregnancy can confuse your body. The body may take some time to get rid of the pregnancy hormones and come back to its regular cycle. The presence of pregnancy hormones in the body can bring about certain changes or delays in the menstruation cycle or cause irregular period after abortion.

During the first period after abortion,, heavy bleeding may occur accompanied by blood clots and cramping. It is body’s way of ejecting all the remaining tissues and products of pregnancy. You may experience this for the next few menstruation cycles.

Medication for Menstrual Cramping

Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen for mild menstrual cramping. Taking these medicines as soon as cramping or bleeding starts may prove useful. Putting a hot bottle wrapped in a towel or a heating pad under the lower back or stomach may bring relief from the pain. You can also try propping up your feet or consider taking birth control pills but only after consulting the doctor.

Tips for Self Care Post-Abortion

Abortion can take a toll on a woman both physically and mentally. Therefore, it is vital to take care of one’s health after an abortion for timely and complete recovery. Some helpful tips are listed below:

  • Take adequate rest and eat a healthy diet
  • Engage the emotional support of family and friends to help you deal with the situation
  • Avoid unprotected intercourse with your partner
  • Ensure regular check-ups and follow up care with your doctor
  • Avoid lifting of heavy objects

When to Call your Doctor?

It is advisable to contact your doctor if you happen to experience excessive bleeding soaking up to two pads or more in an hour or large blood clots along with painful cramping. In case women pass tissues with painful cramping, experience foul-smelling vaginal discharge or run high temperatures they require medical intervention. Some women may experience late periods after abortion. However, if there are no sign of periods post-abortion, then it may be a cause for concern. Also, recovery bleeding post-abortion up to 8 weeks or more will need medical attention. It can also happenmenstrual that some women may get their first period but skip their second period after abortion. In that case, one may like to get a pregnancy test done or consult a doctor.

It is normal to experience some deviations while menstruating after an abortion. Nevertheless, in case of any doubt, it is always advisable to consult a doctor for necessary guidance and timely treatment. Not worrying unnecessarily and remaining stress-free along with taking good rest and eating healthy will go a long way in helping your body to recover from the trauma of abortion.

Also Read:

Physical and Emotional Side Effects after Abortion
Taking Care of Yourself Post Abortion
D and C Post Abortion