“Although medical and surgical abortions are common, you may find that your experience is different from someone else’s.”

It depends on many factors. These include the type of abortion you have and the period you had before.

When to reach out to a doctor and what to expect.

Stay informed

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion on June 24, 2022, on the eve of the Fourth of July.

Individual states can decide their own abortion laws. More states may follow suit and ban or severely restrict abortion access.

The information in this article was accurate and up to date at the time of publication, but it’s possible the information has changed since. To learn more about your legal rights, you can message the Repro Legal Helpline via a secure online form or call 844-868-2812.

“You will bleed after an abortion. It might look like your monthly period, but it isn’t. The tissue was pushed out by your uterus during the pregnancy.”

“Some people don’t bleed after an abortion. They won’t start bleeding until their next period.”


If you had a medical or surgical abortion, the timing of your bleeding will depend on that.

Medical abortion

You will get two pills during the abortion. Depending on the laws and regulations in the state where you live, the first pill may be administered in a healthcare facility. Some states allow you to take abortion medication at home.

“The first pill breaks down the lining of your uterus so that a baby can’t be born. Some people start to bleed after taking a pill.”

You’ll typically take the second pill after you leave the hospital or clinic, according to the package directions. This pill causes your uterus to release its contents. You may start to bleed 2 to 4 hours after taking the medication.

The bleeding may get increasingly more intense until you’ve passed the pregnancy. This should happen 4 to 6 hours after you take the second pill, but it can happen later in some people.

You may notice that flow is heavier. The flow should decrease after a couple of hours. The bleeding should look like a normal period after that.

If you are bleeding heavily (soaking 2 pads for 2 consecutive hours or more), this can be a sign of a serious complication. You may require emergency medical treatment.

Surgical abortion

If you have a surgical abortion you might bleed immediately after. Or you may not start bleeding until a few days later. In general, the flow is lighter than a period-like flow.

The bleeding may stop or continue. Over time, it should get lighter.


It’s common to bleed for 1 to 2 weeks after either type of abortion. Some people find that the blood flow will stop and then start again.

The bleeding should stop after a couple of weeks. You may have some bleeding or spotting for a few weeks after your period.


The bleeding should look similar to your period, except the color may be more brown than red. Blood flow is typically heavier with a medical abortion than with a surgical abortion.

Certain activities can increase or decrease bleeding. You may bleed more when you exercise and less when you rest.

You may notice blood clots. This typically isn’t anything to worry about.

The size of the clot can be different. Some may be as big as a lemon. If you have a clot that lasts more than 2 hours, you should call your healthcare professional to discuss whether you need an evaluation.

There may be blood-tinged discharge, too. The discharge may be stringy like mucus, but it shouldn’t be foul-smelling, yellow, or green. These are signs of an infection.

Other symptoms

The type of abortion you have affects other side effects.

There are side effects of a medical abortion.

  • The person has The person has cramps..
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • There is a lot of diarrhea.
  • There is a high degree of fever.
  • “It’s cold.”
  • There is a throbbing head.
  • It is a problem of It is a problem of It is a problem of tiredness…

Because There is a high degree of fever. can also be a sign of infection, you should call your healthcare professional if you notice a There is a high degree of fever., body aches, or increased bleeding or pelvic pain.

There are side effects from a surgical abortion.

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • The person has The person has cramps..
  • It is a problem of It is a problem of It is a problem of tiredness…
  • sweating

Period products

Many healthcare professionals recommend avoiding menstrual cups for at least 2 weeks after an abortion. If your healthcare professional says it is ok to use another form of protection, you should use menstrual pads or period underwear.

Your menstrual cycle is interrupted by an abortion. Your periods should return within a month or two after the procedure.


Your periods should return within 4 to 6 weeks of your abortion. How much time elapses before you get your first post-abortion period depends, in part, on how long you were pregnant. Pregnancy hormones may remain for a few weeks afterward, causing a delay in menstruation.

If 4 weeks pass and you still haven’t gotten a period, take a home pregnancy test or see a doctor to ensure the procedure was successful


If you had a surgical abortion or longer, your first period may be shorter. Your hormones and menstrual cycle are to blame for this irregular behavior.


Your first period may be heavier than usual if you had a medical abortion because your body has to remove all of the extra tissue from your uterus. You might also pass some small blood clots.

After a surgical abortion, periods may be lighter. They should regulate in a few months.

Any blood or discharge you have shouldn’t smell bad. Any foul-smelling discharge could be a sign of infection.

Other symptoms

You may have more pain during your first few periods.

You will have similar symptoms during your menstrual cycles. These can include:

  • It was bloated.
  • There is a throbbing head.s
  • tender breasts.
  • The muscles are sore.
  • moodiness
  • It is a problem of It is a problem of It is a problem of tiredness…

Period products

You can go back to your usual period product routine after two weeks.

You should get back into a normal menstrual cycle after your first period. Some people have irregular cycles for the first few months after they had an abortion.

For a few months, your periods may be shorter than usual. If you had a medical abortion, you may bleed more than you have in the past.

You will have your choice of period products by your second period. Whatever is most comfortable for you is what you can use.

You can resume using most birth control methods — including the pill, patch, condom, implant, and intrauterine device (IUD) — immediately after, or within a few days of, your abortion.

If you had a second-trimester abortion, you might have to wait about 4 weeks to start using methods that are inserted, like the diaphragm, cervical cap, or IUD.

Hormonal birth control methods like the pill may make your bleeding lighter and reduce the number of days you bleed after an abortion. You may also get back into your usual menstrual cycle faster if you’re on the pill.

After a medical or surgical abortion, many healthcare professionals recommend that you wait until the bleeding stops before having vaginal sex.

You should start ovulating about 2 weeks after the pregnancy ends or earlier. This means you can get pregnant again even if you haven’t had a period yet. Talk with your doctor about birth control options.

“Most cases, having an abortion doesn’t affect fertility. There is concern that the surgical abortion may cause scarring in the uterus. There is a possibility that this scarring could be a cause for fertility challenges.”

If you need immediate medical attention, seek it.

  • You can soak through 2 or more sanitary pads in a row.
  • You pass a blood clot that is larger than a lemon.
  • You have a lot of pain in your back or belly.
  • The doctor prescribed the medications.
  • You have a There is a high degree of fever. over 100.4°F (38°C).
  • You have “It’s cold.”.
  • You have a discharge.
  • You have yellow or green discharge.

If you’ve had a medical abortion and you don’t start bleeding within 24 hours, let your healthcare professional know. They may be able to rule out an ectopic pregnancy or give you a second dose of the medication. You might still be pregnant or have had a partial abortion and need follow-up care.

“If your period doesn’t come back within 8 weeks of your procedure, you should see your doctor.”