Caring for yourself after your abortion.

Most women recover quickly after an abortion. How much pain and bleeding you experience afterwards can vary.

What to expect after treatment-


Use sanitary towels to monitor your bleeding after a medical abortion (abortion pill) up to 10 weeks’ gestation The amount and type of bleeding can vary for each person and each abortion.  It is normal to experience light, moderate, or heavy bleeding during a medical abortion . Not everyone will pass blood clots during a medical abortion, but for those who do, the clots should be no larger than a lemon. It is NOT normal to have no bleeding/scant bleeding or flooding  therefore you should telephone WFW on 0700811528 for advice if:

    1• 24 hours after taking the misoprostol, you do not bleed at all, have spotting/only see blood on a tissue when wiping

    2• You experience heavy bleeding soaking 2 maxi size sanitary pads for 2 hours in a row

Call 999 if you experience extremely heavy bleeding and feel unwell

Bleeding and cramping usually start 2-4 hours after taking misoprostol but sometimes it can take up to a few days for this to happen. Once the pregnancy passes, the amount of bleeding should noticeably reduce. Most women have light bleeding for about two weeks, but you may have spotting up to your next period. Sometimes you may have a short episode of pain with a gush of blood or a clot several weeks after the abortion – contact us if this continues

Bleeding after surgical abortion is expected, like a normal menstrual period, and you may pass small blood clots. Bleeding usually stops after 1-2 weeks, but some women spot until their next period. Sometimes you may have a short episode of pain, with a gush of blood or a clot several weeks after the abortion – contact us if this continues.  A few women don’t bleed until their next period is due – and that is normal too.

How much bleeding is too much?

How much bleeding is too much? Physical symptoms as your body recovers

Symptoms of nausea, vomiting and tiredness usually stop within 3 days of an abortion. Sore breasts may take 7 to 10 days to disappear. Your breasts may feel firm and tender and leak milk after your procedure. You will feel more comfortable if you wear a supportive bra and apply cold ice packs to your breasts. Take ibuprofen or paracetamol, if necessary for the pain.

Your next period

Your next menstrual period will begin 4-6 weeks after your treatment. If you have not had a period 4 weeks after your treatment, you should do a pregnancy test. If it is positive, ring the clinic where you were treated to make a follow up appointment. It’s important to remember that any bleeding immediately after your treatment is not a period.

What can I do?


Take a bath or shower as normal. Take care if you have a bath in the 24 hours following a general anaesthetic. You will need to make sure someone is around to keep an eye on you, in case you still feel drowsy.


Once you feel sufficiently recovered from the abortion you can return to having sex. You can get pregnant almost immediately following an abortion, so it’s important to use contraception if you do not want to get pregnant.

Other activities, including work

Most women will be fit and well enough to return to normal activities within a day or two. Our best advice is to rest until you feel able to return to your normal routine.

Unexpected or unusual symptoms after an abortion

Telephone 999 for an ambulance if you have experienced any of the following in the last 24 hours after your treatment:

  • loss of consciousness
  • severe allergic reaction
  • a confused state
  • concern for a heart attack or stroke
  • chest pain
  • slurred speech
  • breathing difficulties
  • fits that aren’t stopping

Phone the clinic where you were treated (the number is on your copy of ‘My WFW guide and your discharge letter), or call us on 0700811528 if you have any of the following:

  • Lasting pain
  • Discoloured or smelly vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell or still feeling pregnant
  • continuous and heavy bleeding that soaks 2 or more maxi-size pads in an hour for 2 hours in a row
  • You performed a pregnancy test 3 weeks after your abortion pill treatment under 10 weeks and the test was positive, invalid or you were not sure of the result