How Long Will I Bleed After Abortion?

When it comes to abortion, many women worry about risks and complications. When an abortion is performed by appropriately trained personnel, complications are relatively rare, and the risk of death is negligible. The most appropriate methods of abortion differ by the duration of pregnancy. However, bleeding sometimes results from trauma to the cervix or retained products of conception. Depending on the reasons for the bleeding, appropriate treatments might be necessary to stop the hemorrhaging.

How Long Will I Bleed After Abortion?

Your bleeding may be heavy, moderate, light or none at all, from 1-3 weeks after the procedure. Some women don’t start bleeding for a few days after the abortion; for others bleeding will stop and then start again, and still others pass clots and have strong cramps for 2-3 days. It wouldn’t be abnormal if 4-5 days after the procedure, you experience increased bleeding and cramping, because prolonged bleeding is an expected result of an abortion.

Medical Abortion

Usually, the heavier bleeding usually occurs the first 2-5 hours after medical methods of abortion, and typically slows down within a day. Vaginal bleeding typically diminishes over a couple of weeks, but in some cases, spotting and bleeding may continue for up to 7 weeks; however, the hemorrhaging is rarely heavy enough to consider it an emergency unless you’re soaking through more than 2 maxi pads per hour for 2 or more consecutive hours. It’s normal for your body to emptying the uterus completely over time, and a women’s normal menstrual period usually returns after 5-6 weeks.

Surgical Abortion

How long will I bleed after abortion with surgery? You ask. Typically, when compared to normal menstruation, bleeding is less after a surgical abortion. However, it may be irregular. In some cases, there isn’t any bleeding at all the first one or two days. In other cases, bleeding may be heavier than the first day of menstruation. Occasionally, blood will coagulate as it arrives in the vagina, and this causes blood clots to be formed and expelled. This is simply blood and not body tissue. However, blood clots expelled from the vagina are also a hallmark of heavy bleeding. Surgical evacuation may be considered in cases of heavy or prolonged bleeding, or if there is any evidence of an infection.

Other Symptoms You May Have After an Abortion


Cramping indicates that the medical abortion is working with this type of procedure. For the first week or two, menstrual-like cramping pain is normal. Cramps may at times be very painful and more worse than a period. You can take a tablet of Tylenol with Codeine every 4 hours, or Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours as needed for pain. However, don’t take aspirin or any aspirin-based medications.

Mood Swings

Emotional upset or mood swings will often accompany the drop in pregnancy hormones, and can last from a few days up to several weeks. Within two days, morning sickness should disappear and breast changes topically return to normal by the end of the first week, but both can persist if you are using birth control pills.

Care After Abortion

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Get a couple of days rest.
  • Eat healthy and take vitamins.
  • Continually take any prescriptions provided by physician until completed.
  • Avoid exercising for a couple of weeks.
  • Avoid bathing in bathtub and swimming for couple of weeks.
  • No heavy lifting (>15 lbs) for couple of weeks.
  • Avoid sex, tampons, douching for 2-4 weeks.

When to Worry

How long will I bleed after abortion? It varies on your specific condition, but normally, it ranges from 1-3 weeks. If it gets worse, see your doctor soon.

Symptoms after an abortion that are cause for concern include:

  • Fever (>100 degrees)
  • Bleeding should be no heavier than that of a heavy flow period at worst
  • Large blood clots (> orange in size)
  • Bleeding progressively gets heavier
  • Bleeding lasting more than 5 weeks
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal swelling and tenderness
  • Lack of bowel movements
  • Dizziness, fainting, nausea
  • Bloody stools or urine
  • Excessive sweating
  • Paleness

When You Have Healed


Remember, ovulation can occur as soon as 2 weeks after an abortion, and you can get pregnant again! When you have healed, you shouldn’t have sex until you feel emotionally and physically recovered. Once you have decided that you are ready to start having intercourse, make sure you’re using a form of birth control before you do. However, because many of us already know, birth control isn’t 100% effective, have a serious discussion with your partner on what you want to do if a pregnancy happens again, and the action plan for future unexpected pregnancies.


If you were more than 9 weeks into the pregnancy, it’s possible that lactation of your breasts will occur. It's normal because it is the effect of hormones that are released when you’re no longer pregnant. The hormones tell your body when to start producing milk (the end of pregnancy), and as a result, your breasts might feel sore, swollen, tight, and may leak fluid. It may take 1-4 weeks for the fluid to dry up, and you’ll want to wear a well-fitting, snug bra all day. You can take pain medication for the pain; however, if you have extreme tenderness in your breasts, or develop a fever, consult your physician.

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