Period After Abortion: Am I Just Bleeding or Is It My Period?

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Period After Abortion: Am I Just Bleeding or Is It My Period?

What to Expect from Related Bleeding and Menstruation

Medical and surgical abortions are common in South Africa, but your overall experience may be completely different from someone else’s. And how it affects your menstrual cycle will depend on a number of factors, including the abortion type and what your period was like before. Here’s what to expect after the process, and when to see a medical practitioner.

The bleeding that comes after an abortion is normal. You might even mistake this bleeding for your monthly period, but it isn’t the same. This may simply be the result of your uterus expelling tissue from the pregnancy.

The timing of your bleeding depends on they type of abortion you get.

When you get a medical abortion, your healthcare practitioner will administer the first pill which acts to break down the lining of your uterus so that the pregnancy can no longer grow. Some people will display signs of bleeding after this first pill. After you’ve left the hospital, you’ll be required to take the second pill which causes your uterus to release its contents. You’ll start to bleed within 30 minutes to 4 hours after you’ve taken it. At this point, a woman may experience spotting for up to 45 days after the procedure.

The bleeding will increase in intensity until you’ve fully passed the pregnancy. This will normally happen 4 to 5 hours after you’ve taken the second pill.

If you undergo a surgical abortion, you will bleed immediately after the procedure has been completed. The bleeding may stop or continue until your next period. It if continues, it should get lighter over time.

The bleeding will be similar to your periods, with exception to the colour being more brown than red. Activities such as exercise may increase the amount of bleeding, whereas rest periods will have less bleeding.

At this point you may notice blood clots, which aren’t typically anything to worry about – the clots can range in size from small to large. However, if you experience clots with heavy bleeding which lasts more than two hours, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss whether you need evaluation.

Other symptoms

Other side-effects you may experience may include:

  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Tiredness

In the case you had a medical abortion and you didn’t start bleeding within 48 hours, let your healthcare provider know. There’s a chance you might still be pregnant or have had a partial abortion.

If you experience a fever post-abortion, contact your healthcare provider immediately. A fever can indicate an emergency complication stemming from your abortion and should be investigated for infection.

Your periods should return within 6 weeks of your abortion. The time before you get your first post-abortion period depends on how pregnant you were.

The wellbeing of your body is priority number one. Our Well Women appointments are quick female health check-ups available to all South African women at a reasonable price. Contact Pregnancy by Choice and make an appointment  today!

Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)

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