After the Abortion Procedure FAQs

Are there any restrictions following an abortion procedure?

There are only a few restrictions a patient must follow after an abortion procedure; however, these limitations are very necessary to achieve full recovery. Patients who are more than 6.5 weeks must not insert anything into the vagina for two weeks after having a surgical abortion. This includes no tampons, no douching, and no sexual intercourse. Swimming, tub bathing, heavy lifting, strenuous activity, sun bathing and standing for prolonged periods of time are also prohibited. After having a chemical abortion, there are very few restrictions. The first week after the procedure the restrictions are the same as the surgical abortion except that you may engage in intercourse when you feel comfortable.

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How long after having an abortion will I experience bleeding?

This will vary from patient to patient. The bleeding will be similar to that of a menstrual period. Patients may expect to have bleeding from one to seven days. Spotting may even be experienced for the duration of a month. The bleeding may be very light to somewhat heavy. Some blood clots may be passed, and this is considered normal.

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Can I return to work or school the next day?

Most patients can return to work or school and resume normal activities the next day. We ask patients who were over 6 weeks pregnant to avoid long periods of standing, heavy lifting, pulling or pushing. These activities may cause increased bleeding and cramping. If your schedule involves heavy lifting or strenuous activity, we will provide a work or school excuse stating that you must avoid certain activities for a week. Patients less than 6 weeks pregnant and receive no IV Sedation can return to work the same day and resume their normal activities.

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Will an abortion have any effect on future pregnancies?

Having an abortion is greater than 10 times safer than having full term labor and delivery. It is unlikely that you would experience any lasting complications from an abortion procedure; however, as with any type of surgical procedure there are always some risks involved. If there are no complications with your abortion procedure, the chance of having any complications with pregnancy in the future is extremely rare.

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What happens to the fetus after the abortion procedure?

Once a pathology exam is performed, it is disposed of according to Florida State Law.

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How will I feel emotionally after the abortion?

The majority of patients feel a sense of relief after the abortion procedure. Having an abortion is a very difficult decision for most patients. It involves moral, ethical, financial, social, and religious issues. Other feelings patients may experience are anger, guilt, and regret which generally only last 2 to 4 weeks. If these feelings last longer, the patient is encouraged to contact Exhale ( or Backline ( which are free after-abortion hotlines.

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When will I have a normal period?

Most women will have a normal period within 4 to 6 weeks after having an abortion. It can take up to 3 or 4 months for a patient’s period to return.

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How soon can I get pregnant after an abortion?

Patients can become pregnant as early as 10 days after having an abortion performed. Despite emphasizing to patients that they need to be careful and begin birth control immediately, there are many patients who return a month or two after the abortion procedure complaining of nausea, fatigue, and not having a period. The pregnancy test is positive and the sonogram shows a new pregnancy.

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If I can’t come back to the Women’s Center for my follow-up appointment, can I do a home pregnancy test or see my personal physician?

When you come to the Women’s Center to have a medical abortion performed, you are agreeing to have your follow-up visit with us as we are the responsible party. More than likely, the reason that you did not go to your personal Physician in the first place is because he or she does not perform abortions which means they do not have the experience or the expertise to handle the complications that can arise with medical abortions. Additionally, pregnancy tests can remain positive for 8 to 12 weeks after a medical abortion procedure is complete. If you are certain that you are not going to be able to come back to our office for your follow-up exam, we ask that you not have the Abortion Pill procedure.

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