After Abortion Care

We can help.

Many women have concerns regarding their physical and emotional health following an abortion. It is important to understand what symptoms to expect and how to take care of yourself to help alleviate the physical and emotional impacts of an abortion.

Taking Care of Yourself After an Abortion

  • Drink water and healthy fluids.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects for at least one week.
  • Take any antibiotics you were given for the full number of days prescribed.
  • Avoid vaginal insertions for at least two weeks, including sex and tampons.

Call your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms you are having.

Post Abortive Complications: Warning Signs

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after an abortion:

  • Heavy bleeding or passing large clots (larger than golf ball size).
  • Bleeding that lasts more than 14 days.
  • Fever over 100 degrees.
  • Abdominal pain that is worse than a normal period.
  • Signs of infection such as achiness and general feeling of illness.
  • Vomiting that lasts more than 4 hours.
  • Sudden abdominal swelling or rapid heart rate.
  • Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
  • Pain, redness or swelling in the genital area.

Physical Effects

Most women experience some of the following after an abortion:

  • Bleeding – on average bleeding lasts 14 days, but can last as long as 21 days.1
  • Cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea/Vomiting

These symptoms typically resolve within a week, sometimes longer. If symptoms persist or become severe, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

Emotional Effects

Research suggests that women who have had abortions may be at increased risk for mental health problems.2 Some women who have experienced an abortion report symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.3 Some of those symptoms may include:

  • Regret
  • Grief
  • Sadness/Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt/Shame
  • Suicidal thoughts

Contact us for a referral to a licensed counselor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. It is important for your health that you not ignore any negative feelings you may have. The National Hotline for Abortion Recovery is also available to assist you via phone: 866-482-5433 or online: www.nationalhelpline.org.

For information about additional long-term health impacts of abortion, see Abortion Risks and Side Effects.

Abortion Reversal

If you have taken the first dose of the abortion pill and are experiencing doubts about your abortion, please contact us immediately at (585) 633-8883. See Abortion Reversal for more information.


  1. Davis A, Westhoff C, De Nonno L (2000). Bleeding patterns after early abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol or manual vacuum aspiration. J Am Med Womens Assoc 55(3 Suppl):141-4; Harwood B, Meckstroth KR, Mishell Dr, Jain JK (2001). Serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin levels and endometrial thickness after medical abortion. Contraception 63(4):255-6. 

  2. Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder E (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J Child Psychol Psyc 47(1):16-24. 

  3. Coyle CT, Coleman PK, Rue VM (2010). Inadequate preabortion counseling and decision conflict as predictors of subsequent relationship difficulties and psychological stress in men and women. Traumatology 16(1):16-30.