How long after abortion can you have sex?

One of the doubts we clarify the most at our abortion clinic Fort Lauderdale is how long after abortion you can have sex. We also get asked other sex-related questions, such as whether there is pain during sex after abortions and how fast you can get pregnant again. 

Sex post-abortion can bring many doubts, fears, and challenges for some women. In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about performing sexual activities after a medical abortion. 

how long after abortion can you have sex

Types of abortion

There are two different types of legal, medical abortions: abortion pill vs surgical procedure. Which one you choose will mainly depend on your personal preference, your doctor’s recommendations, and other medical factors, such as how far into the pregnancy you’re at. Both pills and surgical abortion are safe ways to terminate a pregnancy.

Not two abortion experiences are the same, and regardless of the method you choose, post-abortion sex can raise many questions and doubts. Some women feel ready to start having sex right away, while others face certain challenges, such as anxiety about getting pregnant again. Those situations can prevent them from getting back into their normal sex life.

Medical abortion

The abortion pill is known as one of the safest and most effective ways to terminate a pregnancy. You can use this method up to the first 12 weeks of gestation. The abortion is achieved by combining two different medications: Mifepristone and Misoprostol. The procedure lasts about two weeks and is divided into two clinical parts. In the first one, the healthcare provider prescribes Mifepristone; in the second, the patient takes Misoprostol as an in-home treatment. 

Almost every woman is eligible for medication abortion. Although, some medical conditions can mean you are not suitable and need a surgical abortion instead. For example, if you have a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia, or are currently on blood-thinning or corticosteroid medications.

Surgical abortion

Another also safe and highly successful method to end a pregnancy is a surgical procedure. Surgical abortion, where the uterus is cleared by gentle suction, is an option up to 14 weeks into the pregnancy. It is probable to feel some minor discomfort or mild pain during the medical procedure. The patient can choose between taking painkillers, twilight sedation, or local anesthesia. A surgical abortion usually takes only 5 to 10 minutes; however, it is recommended you wait for about 30-40 minutes until the anesthesia wears off.

Surgical abortions are often preferred because they involve only one visit to a clinic, and professional medical staff is always present. This method is also implemented in cases when the abortion pill didn’t work. It is done in a matter of minutes, and usually, there is less cramping and bleeding afterward compared to a medication abortion. 

Self-care after abortion: what to expect

After an abortion, with pills or surgery, some side effects are expected. You’ll most likely be able to return to your work or regular activities the day after. However, if possible, you should plan to rest for a day or two, allowing your body to recover fully.

What to expect after an abortion can vary from one woman to another. Typically, in the days or weeks following the procedure, you can experience some bleeding, cramps, and mild pain. While some women don’t experience bleeding at all – especially after a surgical abortion – others can experience some bleeding from 2 to 6 weeks. Cramps are often necessary for the uterus to return to its standard size. If you feel too much discomfort, feel free to ask your doctor to prescribe painkillers. If you experience too much bleeding or unbearable pain, contact a medical professional immediately. Intense pelvic and lower abdomen pain, unusual vaginal discharge, or pain during sex could be signs of an infection or incomplete abortion. While rare, it is best to consult a doctor to check if everything is fine.

Besides bleeding and cramping, you should be physically well and ready to lead your typical life. On the other hand, some women experience emotional challenges after having an abortion. Due to the hormonal changes that normally take place after an abortion, you may feel intense feelings of relief and sadness at the same time. While it is normal to have conflicting emotions during this time, sometimes, an abortion can lead to post-abortion stress syndrome. It is vital you take care of your mental and physical health after having an abortion. You can talk to a professional and ask for mental health support if you need to. 

How long after an abortion can you have sex?

There is no medical consensus to answer the question: how long after an abortion can you have sex? After you have the abortion, your doctor will assess your situation and advise you about how long you should wait.

While there is no agreed-upon opinion on a waiting period before returning to your sexual life after an abortion, the times may change depending on the method you use. Abortion with medical pills, such as Misoprostol, often requires you to wait for approximately 4-7 days before having sex to prevent infections. However, since the bleeding period after abortion pills tends to be longer (a few weeks), many women decide to wait until they stop bleeding to have sex. Since that is often unnecessary, some patients decide not to wait. If you opt for a surgical procedure, you may experience less bleeding afterward. That is the main reason women feel comfortable quickly returning to sexual activities. Nevertheless, doctors advise you to wait for a short period to avoid infections and give your body time to recover. 

Generally speaking, you will be ready to engage in sexual activities only a few days after having an abortion. However, every woman must take the time they need until they feel ready to have sex again. Besides physical factors, your mental health is another vital aspect you should consider. Abortions often come with a lot of stress and intense emotions. Make sure to carefully listen to your body to notice when you are physically and mentally ready to have sex again. 

When should I start birth control after an abortion?

After an abortion, it’s possible to get pregnant again almost immediately. Even though you continue bleeding or if you don’t have your period for weeks, you’ll likely ovulate the first or second week after the abortion. When you decide to have post-abortion sex, you should think about your birth control options. If you don’t want to get pregnant, it’s important you immediately start using contraceptives, such as birth control pills or emergency contraceptive pills. Before the abortion, the clinic will suggest you get an RPR blood test; remember that condoms are the only contraception options that can protect you against STDs. 

What will sex be like after an abortion?

Post-abortion sex is a unique experience for each woman. Most women report returning to their normal sexual life without any trouble. Still, some patients experience decreased libido; that’s completely normal, and your sexual desire should be back in a short time. As you return to your regular lifestyle, you must not forget to cover your annual physical exam checklist for females.

Final thoughts

Performing sexual activities after abortion can awaken many doubts and even fears. But if you had a successful medical portion, there should be nothing to worry about. Giving your body and mind proper time to heal and recover is the most critical step. By listening to your body, you’ll know if you are truly ready to have sex again or if it’s better to wait a little longer. Do you have additional questions about how long after an abortion you can have sex? Schedule a call or visit our abortion clinic; our dedicated team of medical professionals is happy to answer all your questions.