Physical Effects

Physical Side Effects After Abortion

The physical side effects after an abortion will vary from woman to woman. There are potential side effects and risks that you should be aware of. It is important to talk to a health professional as well as the doctor who will perform your abortion about possible side effects. Your period should return about 4 – 6 weeks after the abortion and you can get pregnant again soon after the abortion. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, it is important to take them as directed in order to help prevent infection.

Anticipated physical side effects following an abortion:

The following is a list of side effects that are frequently experienced after an abortion. It is possible to experience these side effects for as long as 2 to 4 weeks following the procedure.

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Spotting and Bleeding 1

According to the Mayo Clinic website,
Signs that may require medical attention after a medical abortion include:

  • Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C) or any fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge

After a medical abortion, you’ll need a follow-up visit with your health care provider to make sure you’re healing properly and to evaluate your uterine size, bleeding and any signs of infection. To reduce the risk of infection, don’t have vaginal intercourse or use tampons for two weeks after the abortion.

Your health care provider will likely ask if you still feel pregnant, if you saw the expulsion of the gestational sac or fetus, how much bleeding you had, and whether you’re still bleeding. If your health care provider suspects an incomplete abortion or ongoing pregnancy, you may need an ultrasound and possible follow-up treatment. 2

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1. Retrieved 12/18/13 http://americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/possiblesideeffects.html

2.  Retrieved 12.21.13 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/medical-abortion/MY00819/DSECTION=what-you-can-expect