When Do Periods Start After Abortion?

Abortions are low-risk medical procedures that terminate a pregnancy. It’s normal to bleed right after having an abortion, but a woman’s first period usually happens a few weeks later.

How Does Abortion Affect the Menstrual Cycle?

A woman will usually have her next period 4-8 weeks after an abortion. Abortion empties the uterus, thereby restarting the menstrual cycle.

The start date of a woman’s next period will depend on whether she uses birth control and, if so, what type.

If a woman’s periods do not start within 8 weeks after having an abortion, she should contact her doctor.

What Is Bleeding After Abortion?

Many people experience some bleeding after having an abortion. Doctors describe it as bleeding after abortion. It’s a good idea to use pads to monitor how much blood comes out after an abortion. The two main types of abortions are medical and surgical.

Bleeding after medical abortion

Medical abortion is when a doctor gives a woman abortion pills to end her pregnancy. This type of abortion is available during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

During a medical abortion, the doctor gives a woman two pills:

  • mifepristone to stop the development of pregnancy
  • Misoprostol triggers the uterus to expel pregnancy tissue

Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract, which causes the pregnancy tissue to bulge out of the vagina. This treatment causes bleeding, which can be similar to a heavy period. Some people experience heavier bleeding than others, and this may include blood clots.

A woman may then experience spotting or light bleeding for up to 2 weeks after the pregnancy tissue has passed.

Bleeding after surgical abortion

Surgical abortions typically occur after the 10th week of pregnancy. There are two types of surgical abortion:

  • vacuum aspiration, which involves the removal of pregnancy by suction
  • dilation and evacuation, which involves dilating the cervix with forceps and removing the pregnancy with suction

Doctors usually use vacuum aspiration for about 14-16 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. After a longer period, they will usually suggest expansion and draining.

Surgical abortions can also cause post-abortion bleeding, which resembles a normal period. Bleeding after surgical abortion usually lasts for 1-2 weeks. Some women may experience spotting until their next menstrual period.

Does Abortion Cause Irregular Periods?

Some birth control methods can affect the regularity of post-abortion periods. If a person typically has irregular periods, they may continue to have them after an abortion.

Having an abortion can cause emotional stress, which can affect a person’s menstrual cycle. Experiencing stress can change the pattern of periods.

If a woman has irregular periods after an abortion and hasn’t had it before, she should talk to her doctor.

What to Expect from the First Term

After a surgical abortion, a woman’s first period may be shorter than usual. The abortion procedure completely empties the uterus, so there is less tissue to be expelled, which can result in a lighter period.

A woman’s first period may be longer than usual after a medical abortion because the treatment uses hormones that can affect the woman’s cycle length. This period may be heavier as there may be additional tissue that the body needs to remove after the procedure.

Using pads in the first post-abortion period allows the woman to monitor the amount of blood she has lost.

What to Expect from the Second Term?

The second period after abortion will likely revert to previous periods of the individual’s menstrual cycle.

However, some women may find that it takes two or three cycles for their menstrual periods to return to normal. If that doesn’t happen, they should talk to their doctor.

When Can You Start Birth Control?

Women can start using birth control immediately after an abortion. If they want to use an intrauterine device, they may ask a healthcare professional to insert one at the same appointment as the abortion.

Intrauterine devices are an effective form of birth control. There are both hormone-free copper intrauterine devices and hormonal-plastic intrauterine devices.

The advantage of copper intrauterine devices is that they do not affect mood, but can cause heavier periods.

Hormonal intrauterine devices can relieve menstruation, but, as with all hormonal contraception, they can affect mood.

Condoms offer a reliable, hormone-free method of birth control that does not require surgery.

Which method of contraception to use is a personal preference and different options will work for different people.

When to Go to the Doctor?

If a woman experiences very heavy bleeding after an abortion or has pain that cannot be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, she should speak to her doctor.

Blood clots up to the size of a lemon are normal in postpartum hemorrhages. Blood clots larger than this are issues that should be discussed with a doctor.

Symptoms, which may include dizziness, sweating, and nausea, are typical during or after an abortion. However, women who feel very faint or have a high fever should talk to their doctor.

If a woman experiences any symptoms that worry or worry her, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor for reassurance.


Miscarriages cause the menstrual cycle to begin again. Most women get their period 4-8 weeks after an abortion.

The first periods after a medical abortion may be heavier and longer than before. The first period after surgical abortion may be shorter and lighter.

If a woman’s menstrual periods do not start 8 weeks after the abortion, or if they return to normal after 3 months, she should see her doctor.

Bleeding after an abortion is normal. If this is very severe, lasts more than 2 weeks, or contains blood clots larger than a lemon, a woman should talk to her doctor.

Source: MedicalNewsToday. When do periods start again after an abortion?. 2021


  • Caring for yourself after your abortion. (n.d.).
  • dilation and evacuation. (n.d.).
  • How does the abortion pill work? (n.d.).
  • Induced abortion. (2015).
  • Lohr, PA, et al.. (2014). abortion
  • Medical abortion: The abortion pill up to 10 weeks. (n)
  • Vacuum aspiration. (n.d.).
  • What can I expect after having an in-clinic abortion? (n.d.).

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