Having sex after an abortion is a commonly asked women’s health issue. Abortions are still taboo. Even though there were 652,639 abortions performed in the U.S. in 2014 (most recent data collected), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The misconceptions surrounding abortions and women’s health leave many women seeking answers. Many want to know about sex after an abortion and the need for birth control.
Here’s what you need to know!
What Are The Two Types Of Abortions?
To get a better understanding and to know what to expect, let’s look at the two types of abortions, medical and surgical.
- Medical Abortions: Medical abortions account for 25 percent of all legal abortions, said the CDC. This procedure uses medication, mifepristone and misoprostol. This blocks the body’s progesterone and causes the embryo to separate from the uterine wall.
- Surgical Abortion: A surgical abortion is a surgical procedure. A doctor will open the cervix about the width of a pencil and take contents from the uterus.
Whether surgical or medical, sex after an abortion can be tricky. Here are three essential things you should know.
How Long Should I Wait To Have Sex After An Abortion?
Having sex right after an abortion is not the best. Doctors recommend a minimum of two weeks before having sex after an abortion. Why? You will have bleeding, cramping, and general discomfort after. The two-week minimum lets your body recover.
Waiting may be more critical if you had a surgical abortion. This is due to the risk of infection if you have sex. Pain, bleeding, and fever could be warning signs of infection. If you have these symptoms, you should immediately talk to a doctor.
If you are feeling like your body is back to normal after two weeks, you can resume having sex. But it is always a good idea to ask a doctor to get the best answers after two weeks go by.
Do I Need Birth Control After An Abortion?
After an abortion, you can get pregnant at anytime again. The day of your abortion is day one of your cycle, and periods usually begin four months after the procedure. To ensure you do not get pregnant again, you should begin taking birth control after the procedure.
Can I Use IUD Contraception After An Abortion?
In many cases, you can resume most types of contraception after an abortion. The doctor who performs the procedure often prescribes birth control and will have the contraception discussion with his or her patients.
If you did not have this conversation, it is best to talk to a doctor to discuss the types of contraception best for you after the procedure.
What is the best practice in post-abortion contraception?
Any contraceptive method can be offered immediately after induced or spontaneous abortion. The type of contraceptive method depends on the patient’s needs and preferences. Certain medical conditions or history may affect the decision during the selection process. Nearly all contraception forms are considered safe if there are no complications. Some options include IUD placement; subdermal implants; depot injection; and initiation of oral pills, transdermal patches, vaginal rings or permanent contraception (sterilization). Generally, contraception is started when it is confirmed that the pregnancy has passed after confirmation with ultrasound. In the case of first-trimester medication abortion, IUD can be safely placed as early as one week following treatment if the uterus is empty.
Short-acting reversible contraception includes progestin injections, combined oral pills, progestin-only pills, transdermal patches, vaginal rings and barrier methods.
As with the progestin-only implant, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate has no risks postabortion, regardless of procedure or gestational age.
The Depo shot is a hormone injection administered once every 3 months. You can get the shot immediately after a miscarriage or abortion. The Depo shot is effective if you get it immediately or during the first 5 days of your period. Otherwise, it takes 7 days to start working, and a backup method such as condoms has to be used.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) can safely be inserted after an abortion. While the day of completion is not always clear for those undergoing medical abortion in the first trimester, IUD insertion within 48 hours of likely completion can be done.
Hormonal contraceptive pills
Progestin-only pills can be started immediately following spontaneous or induced abortion in the first or second trimesters. Unless the medication is started on the day of surgical abortion, patients are advised to use backup contraception, or abstinence, for two additional days.
Combined estrogen-progestin contraceptives
All forms of combined estrogen-progestin contraceptive methods, including oral pills, vaginal rings, and transdermal patches, can be started immediately following first- or second-trimester abortion.
Can you get pregnant right after an abortion?
Ovulation can occur 2 weeks post-abortion. This means a person can become pregnant again before their next period. Since menstrual cycles vary in length, people with shorter cycles may ovulate sooner.
What happens if you have sex after an abortion?
You can usually have sex when you physically and emotionally recover and feel ready after an abortion. However, some doctors recommend waiting until any vaginal bleeding has halted, as this reduces the risk of infection.
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FAQs About Abortion Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
There isn’t any specified consensus on when it’s safest to resume sex after an abortion. Typically, you may continue sex after two weeks after your abortion or until vaginal bleeding has stopped.
The first menstrual period typically starts within four to eight weeks after the abortion procedure. However, a period can start earlier in cases when the pregnancy is terminated within the first few weeks.
Pregnancy is possible almost immediately after having an abortion. This may even happen during the time that you are bleeding. That is why. If you want to avoid getting pregnant, you can start birth control.
There isn’t any medical indication or reason that stops you from receiving oral sex for any amount of time after an abortion. For example, you may be bleeding after your abortion, but you can receive oral sex after an abortion.
If you have physically and mentally recovered, no medical reason prevents you from receiving penetrative vaginal/front hole sex for any specified duration following an abortion.
No medical reasoning recommends avoiding anal sex after an abortion for any period. Therefore, unless you have discomfort from anal sex, it is safe to have anal sex.
You can have intercourse if you feel ready. However, waiting until the vaginal bleeding has subsided is often wise. It is also recommended to use contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy.
Recovery time can vary. After a surgical abortion, you can experience cramps and light vaginal bleeding for up to 2 weeks. However, most women can continue routine activities 1 to 2 days after the procedure.