Today you had an abortion procedure. You will most likely feel fine when you go home. You can return to your normal activities as soon as you want. You can take a shower and wash your hair as soon as you want. You can eat normally, but you may still feel nauseated for a couple days.

Many providers advise not putting anything in the vagina for 1 week (e.g. tampons, menstrual cup) however there is no evidence this is beneficial. Douching is never recommended.  You may or may not feel like being intimate or having vaginal intercourse during this time.  It is good to trust your body and resume intercourse when you feel ready.


Vaginal Bleeding: You can expect to have bleeding for up to 2 weeks. It is common for the bleeding to stop and start for a few weeks after the abortion. Some people have no bleeding for 2 or 3 days and then begin to have bleeding like a period. Other people have only spotting for a few days and then no bleeding at all. You may notice that the bleeding increases when you exercise; this is not dangerous.

Cramping: You may have cramps off and on during the week following an abortion. You can use pain medication  like Tylenol, Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), or Naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn). You can also use a heating pad or drink some warm tea.

Mood changes: You may feel relieved when the abortion is over. You may also feel sad or moody. These feelings may be due to hormonal changes, now that you are no longer pregnant and are normal.

When will your period come back? You can expect a period in 4 to 8 weeks. This varies.

You should call us if:

  • Your bleeding soaks through more than 2 pads per hour for more than 2 consecutive hours.
  • Your cramps are getting stronger and are not helped by pain medication.
  • Your temperature is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

To reach us – call our 24-hour contact number:____________________________.

If you have any questions or think something is going wrong, please call this number and someone will call you back. It may take 10-15 minutes to return your call. No question is too small. Please feel free to call us.

Follow-up visit (as requested/needed): You have an appointment on_____________ at _________am/pm.

Birth Control (as requested)
If you want to use birth control pills, the patch, or the ring, I have given you a prescription. You should start these on ____________________, even if you are still bleeding.

Additional SupportMost patients feel better in the month following an abortion or miscarriage. If you are in need of additional support, call us, or consider contacting one of the following hotlines, which help answer questions and provide you with additional support: www.exhaleprovoice.org {866-4EXHALE), https://www.all-options.org/find-support/talkline/ (888-493-0092), or www.connectandbreathe.org (866.647.1764).


TEACH Abortion Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. All Rights Reserved.