Patients who have medication abortions often need two full days off from work. We recommend taking it easy for the first week or so after your abortion (no heavy lifting or intense physical labor/workouts). Most patients feel physically capable of daily activities very soon after their abortion.
Some women may need more time away from work. The length of time that a woman needs to take off work varies, but depends on many factors such as her job, how long it takes to get back to normal health-related functions, etc. Let your employer know that you will need time off work due to the abortion procedure; some employers offer special leave options for this purpose. It is also important to remember that income during those two days that you are not at work is lost—so if that's important to you, tell your boss early on in your pregnancy.
It is recommended to wait at least two weeks before returning to work. This gives the body time to recover from the surgery and drain any fluid that may have accumulated from the procedure itself.
Many women feel well enough to return to work within a few days of the abortion. However, some may still be feeling pain or discomforting symptoms like cramping or bleeding. In these cases, it may be best to skip work until your doctor releases you to return to regular activity.
Medication abortions are normally available up to 70 days (10 weeks) following the first day of your last menstruation. If it has been 71 days or more from the first day of your last menstruation, you can terminate your pregnancy in a clinic. Some medication abortions may be provided past 10 weeks' gestation if there is a real risk that the fetus will survive beyond this time. These cases require expert medical judgment based on a review of all factors involved including parental wishes, fetal status, and location of pregnancy.
In general, women who take the abortion pill early in their pregnancy will not experience any problems with bleeding or cramping after taking it. But some women do experience bleeding between periods if they take the drug before 10 weeks' gestation. For others, the bleeding lasts for several months after the procedure. All women should check with their doctor before going ahead with a medication abortion if they have any underlying health conditions, since they might need to be adjusted or treated differently.
You can also choose surgical abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Surgical abortions are usually done in hospitals under strict safety measures. A surgeon performs an aspiration on or removes the embryo or fetus from within the uterus. This is usually done through a laparoscope-assisted procedure. Women may experience bleeding between periods after this type of abortion if the fetus was early in development. For others, the bleeding lasts for several months.
You may be eligible to receive a pharmaceutical abortion up to 77 days (11 weeks) following the first day of your last menstruation, depending on where you reside. You can get an in-clinic abortion if it has been 78 days or more from the beginning day of your last menstruation. In this case, you will need to visit your doctor's office for the procedure.
In some cases, women may become pregnant with multiple embryos. If this is the case for you, your options include: having a surgical abortion to remove all of the embryos or keeping some of them and using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or embryo transfer (ET) to select only those embryos that do not have defects. More information on these procedures can be found under the sections "What are the different types of abortions?" and "What if I want to keep my baby?"
It is very important to understand that a medical abortion does not necessarily mean that you will never get pregnant again. Many women who have a medical abortion later learn that they were indeed pregnant after all. Some choose to carry their pregnancy to term while others choose to have surgery to remove the embryo or embryos from within their uterus.
Women who have had a previous legal abortion or miscarriage are at higher risk for having another loss. If you have had a previous abortion or miscarriage, make sure to tell your doctor about it before you come in for your appointment.
Rest and recuperation Most usual after effects may be managed by relaxing, however most women choose to rest for a day or two following an abortion until they are able to resume regular activity levels. Allow your body to be your guide. Do not exercise vigorously for the first week, regardless of how well you feel.
Healing from an abortion takes time but is usually not difficult or painful. The healing process depends on the type of procedure that was done as well as any complications that may have arisen. Women who experience bleeding during their pregnancy often require medical attention. Infections are also common after an abortion. These too can be treated with antibiotics.
Women who undergo early abortions typically recover in less than a week. Those who proceed past the first trimester may need several weeks to months before they are back to normal. It all depends on the length of the pregnancy as well as any complications that may have arisen.
Abortion is usually not considered permanent resolution to your reproductive issues because you can always conceive again later. However, there are cases where a woman might not be able to bear children naturally anymore or if she has had multiple abortions then she might want to consider more permanent solutions such as IVF or surgery.