How Does an Abortion Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?

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Both medical and surgical abortions are low-risk procedures that can safely and effectively terminate pregnancies. That said, many women have questions about how their menstrual cycles might be affected in the aftermath of an abortion. During a medical abortion – in which the pregnancy is terminated using a combination of two pills – it’s normal for women to experience bleeding and spotting similar to that of a heavy period. Following a surgical abortion, it’s normal for women to experience some bleeding and spotting for about one to two weeks as well.

But when will you get your next period after an abortion? And will it be different than your regular periods?

An abortion essentially restarts the menstrual cycle, so most women get their period about four to eight weeks after an abortion. After a surgical abortion, your first period may be somewhat lighter and shorter than usual. This is because the abortion procedure empties the uterus, so there is less tissue to expel during the following period. After a medical abortion, on the other hand, your next period may be heavier than usual due to the hormones used in the procedure. After two to three menstrual cycles, you should find that your period returns to normal.

Whether you receive a medical or surgical abortion, you should contact your doctor if you don’t get your period within 8 weeks of the procedure.

You should also speak to your doctor if post-abortion bleeding is especially heavy, lasts for more than two weeks or contains blood clots larger than the size of a lemon. Finally, keep in mind that you can begin using birth control again as soon as you’ve had an abortion. At South Avenue Women’s Services, we can discuss your birth control options with you and even insert an intrauterine device (IUD) following the abortion procedure. To learn more, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today.