Less than 1 out of 100 women
who have an abortion have serious problems afterward.2
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms after an abortion:
Severe bleeding. Both medical and surgical
abortions usually cause bleeding that is different from a normal menstrual
period. Severe bleeding can mean:
Passing clots that are bigger than a
golf ball, lasting 2 or more hours.
Soaking more than 2 large pads
in an hour, for 2 hours in a row.
Bleeding heavily for 12 hours in
Signs of infection in your whole body, such as
headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general feeling of illness. Severe
infection is possible without fever.
Severe pain in the belly
that is not relieved by pain medicine, rest, or heat
Hot flushes or a fever of
100.4°F (38°C) or higher that
lasts longer than 4 hours
Vomiting lasting more than 4 to 6
Sudden belly swelling or rapid heart
Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells
Pain, swelling, or redness in the genital area
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have had any of these symptoms after a recent
Bleeding (not spotting) for longer than 2
New, unexplained symptoms that may be caused by medicines
used in your treatment
No menstrual period within 6 weeks after the
Signs and symptoms of
depression. Hormonal changes after a pregnancy can
cause depression that requires treatment.
Your ability to become pregnant in the future
Medical abortion and vacuum aspiration do not affect your ability to
become pregnant in the future.1 It is possible to
become pregnant in the weeks right after an abortion procedure.
Avoid sexual intercourse until your body has
fully recovered, for at least 1 to 3 weeks.
To prevent infection
and pregnancy, it is important to
use condoms as directed by your doctor when you start to have intercourse
again. This is a good time to also start a highly effective birth control
method that fits your lifestyle. For more information, see the topic
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this