Here's what you should know about sex after medical abortion
Once you've established that your medical abortion was successful, when can you return to regular activities?
Once you've established that your medical abortion was successful, when can you return to regular activities? Since bleeding and cramping are essential elements of medical abortion, it's likely that you'll want to be in a situation where you can relax and be as comfortable as possible, and it's advisable that you actually not go to work or school if you can avoid it. Some people do return to work the day after the abortion, but keep in mind overall that the best thing you can do after any medical procedure is to listen to your body and take care of yourself, and that includes deciding when you're ready to have sex again.
In order to prevent against infection, it's advised that you not insert anything in your vagina (i.e. penis, fingers, sex toys, tampons) until heavy bleeding stops, which is usually 2 days after the abortion, but this can vary. If you decide not to wait until the bleeding subsides, you should use a condom, also in order to guard against infection. Some doctors recommend waiting up to 2 weeks before you have sex again, so that the possibility of infection is even more reduced. Any procedure that dilates the cervix involves a period of rest and taking certain precautions afterwards, including birth, although an abortion opens your cervix much less than labor and delivery. Signs of infection -- which is extremely rare -- include pelvic pain (such as during sex), strong smelling vaginal discharge, and fever. If any of these show up, you should definitely seek medical attention.
Remember that a new menstrual cycle begins immediately after an abortion, and that means you'll ovulate 2-4 weeks later, so you should make sure you're using birth control when you do start having sex again, unless you do want to get pregnant. If you choose to get an IUD, which is super effective and can last for up to 12 years, depending on what kind you get, some doctors will insert one after a surgical abortion, in the clinic. Ask your healthcare provider about your birth control options.
Feeling confident in your birth control can make you feel better about resuming sex, but you still might feel like you don't want to have sex for a long time after your abortion, and that's okay. Maybe you want a break from having to think about stuff like sex and pregnancy for a little while. It's also okay if you want to have sex soon after your abortion -- maybe you're excited about having made a decision about your body and you want to feel good about that decision. You might want to have sex, but feel scared that your preferred method of birth control will fail. Maybe you don't know how you feel about sex because you're sorting through your feelings about your abortion or it's not a priority right now. There's no wrong answer here, unless you're being pressured to do one thing or another by someone else. The bottom line is that you, and only you, get to decide when and if you want to have sex.
Self managed medical abortion could be the right choice for you if you're in early pregnancy and want or need to do an abortion at home or in a place where you feel safe. You can take the abortion pill - a combination of mifepristone to stop the flow of progesterone, a hormone that promotes fetal growth, and misoprostol, which softens your cervix and makes your uterus contract, expelling the fetal tissue. This mifepristone/misoprostol combination is 95-98% effective when taken up until 11 weeks of pregnancy. You can also choose to take misoprostol on its own up until 12 weeks of pregnancy, which is 80-85% effective. Both of these options, plus answers about how the pills work, how to get them, and more, are available at Women Help Women's website.