What happens after the abortion?
Self-managed Abortion; Safe and Supported
On average, women bleed for 9 -14 days after doing a medical abortion. Some women bleed or pass clots for as long as 4 weeks. After the first few days of more intense bleeding some women will have little or no bleeding, some will have bleeding that stops and starts, and others will have bleeding similar to a menstrual period for several weeks.
Most women are able to know if the abortion was successful quite soon after using the medicines, because pregnancy symptoms disappear quite quickly and/or some women might see the embryonic sac. Even if the woman feels she is not pregnant anymore, it is important to make sure the abortion was successful. Women should either do an ultrasound about 10 days after the medical abortion or do a pregnancy test 3-4 weeks after the abortion.
Sometimes the pregnancy test is still positive 3 weeks after taking the medicines because the pregnancy hormones are still in the blood. If that is a case, the pregnancy test should be repeated in another few days or have an ultrasound.
If an ultrasound shows that a woman is no longer pregnant but that there are remains in the womb, AND if there are no symptoms of a complication, there is NO need any surgical intervention (D and C, curettage, scraping). It is advised to wait until the body expels the tissues naturally.
The menstrual period should return 4-6 weeks after the abortion.
Although it may be several weeks before menstruation comes back again, your fertility returns to normal right away. If a woman does not wish to become pregnant straight after the abortion, it is very important to start using contraceptives immediately. For information about contraceptive options, please click here.