Women who have abortions often ask, “How long after an abortion can I have sex?”
Doctors officially recommend waiting two weeks after a surgical or medication abortion before having sex. This is because bleeding and cramping similar to period pain can occur during sexual activity. However, the decision to engage in sexual activity after an abortion can vary depending on a woman’s physical and emotional well-being.
Women who have an abortion can experience bleeding afterward. This can be heavy with clots or it may be lighter and more sporadic. The type of bleeding a person experiences can be related to how far along the pregnancy was at the time of the abortion. It can also be related to the type of abortion a woman has, as surgical and medical abortions tend to produce more bleeding than miscarriages.
Often, the first period after an abortion is heavier than normal because of the pregnancy tissue that has passed out. This can last for a few days or a few weeks. A woman might also have spotting that can occur for up to 18 days after an abortion. The spotting may be lighter and more sporadic than a regular period and it can have a brown or rusty color to it. If the spotting has a yellow or green tint or it smells bad, this isn’t normal and could be a sign of an infection.
A woman can begin using birth control right after she has an abortion, as long as she’s had a medical or surgical one. If she has a hormonal birth control method like the pill, it can make her periods lighter and shorter and can help her to get back into her normal menstrual cycle more quickly.
Most women who have abortions are able to relax and recover without any medical complications. If you experience any unusual symptoms after your abortion, make an appointment with your GP right away. This may include severe pain, cramps or a fever that won’t go away. It might also include a vaginal discharge, or passing large blood clots (which you should always report to your clinic if this happens).
If you get an infection after your abortion, it’s important to take antibiotics as instructed. You might need a few weeks of medication to clear up the infection and prevent it from spreading further into your fallopian tubes and ovaries. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and it can increase your risk of infertility and future pregnancy, similar to how an untreated STI might do.
There is no medical consensus on how long you should wait to have sex after an abortion, and it really depends on your personal circumstances and what kind of abortion you had. Most experts will recommend waiting one to two weeks to decrease your risk of infection, but if you had a medication abortion that didn’t require much dilation of the cervix, this might not be necessary. You’ll need to use birth control for a few months after your abortion to protect yourself from getting pregnant again.
Getting Pregnant Again
It is possible to get pregnant again shortly after having an abortion, especially if you aren’t using birth control. Your menstrual cycle returns to normal very quickly after an abortion, and you could ovulate again in just a week or two. If you are unsure when your menstrual cycle will return to normal, see a doctor or nurse at the abortion clinic in London to discuss the best method of birth control for your situation.
Most doctors recommend that you wait to start having sex again until any bleeding stops and your body is fully healed, regardless of whether the abortion was surgical or medication-based. You should also use a barrier method of birth control, such as a condom, to protect against infection.
Ultimately, it’s up to you when you want to resume sexual activity. Some women find that their libido returns almost immediately after an abortion, while others may feel more ready to have sex later on. The most important thing is that you’re physically and emotionally ready to have sex again. If you aren’t ready, it’s OK to continue waiting until you are. Talk to your doctor about what works best for you.
Sex After an Abortion
There’s no medical consensus about when it’s safe to have sex after an abortion. In the past, a general guideline was to wait until any vaginal bleeding stopped. However, this advice probably stemmed from concerns about infection rather than from any actual clinical evidence.
In fact, a woman can have penetrative sex as soon as she feels comfortable—especially if she’s using tampons or pads instead of a menstrual cup. This is because a surgical abortion or a self-managed medication abortion with the pills mifepristone and misoprostol don’t disturb the uterus as much as a birth does, so the risk of infection from penetration is relatively low.
Still, it’s important for women to use protection in the meantime, whether they’re having sex or not. This is especially true because the first time you ovulate after an abortion, you could get pregnant again, regardless of your abortion method or how far along your pregnancy was.
It’s also important to be honest with yourself and your partner about your feelings after an abortion. Many women experience a sense of relief or sadness after an abortion, and these emotions can have impacts on their romantic relationships. It’s okay to take the time you need to process your emotions before resuming sexual activity. You and your partner can discuss this at any time.