What should I expect after an Abortion?

Are you thinking about having an abortion but don’t know what to expect after the procedure? Here is some great information to help you plan for your recovery.

Abortion is a medical/surgical procedure, and your body will need to go through a recovery process. Plan to take a few days off of school or work to rest and recover.  Also, have a trusted friend drive you home after your appointment.  It will be important for you to take good care of yourself and be watchful for any physical complications.  For some women, abortion can also bring about emotional reactions that may need sorting through with the help of a counselor.

You may experience some or all of these common effects after an abortion:

*Pain and or cramping.

*Bleeding with some small clots.


*Conflicted emotions (relief vs sadness/grief)

Taking care of yourself after an abortion

You can help take care of yourself after an abortion according to Pregnancy Info.net by:

*Staying hydrated (drinking plenty of healthy fluids).

*Taking any antibiotics your doctor prescribed until they are gone.

*Do not exercise or lift anything over 15 pounds for two weeks.

*No swimming, hot tubs, or bathtubs for two weeks.

*Do not use anything vaginally for two weeks.  (This includes tampons, douches, and intercourse).

*Remember you can get pregnant again soon very soon after an abortion.  You may get your period in 4-6 weeks following your abortion.

Signs of Complications from an abortion:

If you experience these symptoms please call your doctor right away.

*Severe abdominal or back pain that prevents you from standing up.

*Heavy bleeding more than your menstrual period with clots larger than a grape.

*Fever greater than 100.4 degrees.

*Continuing symptoms of pregnancy.

There is also potential for more serious complications from having an abortion. These are rare, but the later the abortion is done, the higher the risk for major complications. Some of these more serious concerns include:

*Heavy or persistent bleeding.

*Infection or sepsis.

*Damage to the cervix.

*Scarring of the uterine lining.

*Perforation of the uterus.

*Damage to other organs.


The risks for complications are less than 1 out of 100 for first-trimester abortions.  However, the risk increases to 1 out of 50 for late-term abortions.

Other Potential Long Term Health Risks:

*Emotional/psychological:  Other long term risks from abortion include psychological/emotional complications as documented in “a study of the medical
records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients [which] revealed that women who had abortions were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery.”  Some of the psychological effects that can be experienced after an abortion are depression, anxiety, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, and more.

Please contact a licensed counselor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.  It is important for your health that you not ignore any negative feelings you may have.  If you do struggle emotionally after an abortion, please give True Care a call at (307) 215-9684 and ask about our abortion recovery program.

*Increased Breast Cancer Risk:  There is research to back up a controversial link between breast cancer and abortion. 

*Future Preterm Delivery:  There is some controversy regarding abortion and future preterm delivery.  According to AAPLOG (American Association of Pro-life Obstetrician and Gynecologists), there is a very large link between abortion and very early preterm births.

Not Sure If You Want an Abortion?

Like many medical procedures, abortion has risks and possible complications.  Some of those complications are long term and can affect you for years to come.  It is important to look at all of your options, weigh the risks and benefits and make the best choice for yourself and your future. If you are pregnant, contact True Care to meet with an advocate to discuss all of your pregnancy options and discover what resources are available for you.