Many women have questions about when it is safe to start having sex after an abortion. The answer depends on whether you have a surgical or medication abortion.

Some people recommend waiting until the bleeding has stopped. However, there is no medical consensus or credible research to support this recommendation.

How long after an abortion can you have sex?

Many women are confused about the timeline for resuming sexual activity after an abortion. The only way to know when it’s safe is to pay attention to your body, as every person experiences post-abortion symptoms differently. It is also important to take your mental health into consideration as well.

While some doctors have advised waiting a few weeks or even a month to resume sexual activity, this recommendation is not founded in medical fact or research, says ob-gyn Diane Horvath. “We tell our patients to listen to their bodies and to wait until they feel physically and emotionally ready,” she says.

Horvath suggests starting with oral sex and working your way up to penetrative vaginal/front hole sex. She says that the uterus is still enlarged and you may experience pain in your pelvis area similar to the cramps of a period. Horvath warns that you might find some positions uncomfortable due to the size of your uterus, but there’s no medical reason not to try different angles or positions.

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For a surgical abortion, it’s typically recommended to wait until the bleeding stops and your cervix is fully closed before having sex. However, there’s no medical consensus on how long to wait for a medication abortion with Misoprostol. Some doctors have suggested waiting 4-7 days to avoid infection, but this can lead to increased discomfort for some women.

The day after an abortion

There isn’t a lot of medical consensus about how long it’s safe to have sex after an abortion. A general guideline is to wait until vaginal bleeding has stopped. However, some doctors may advise against sexual activity if you’re still bleeding, especially with a surgical abortion, since the cervix is likely open and vulnerable to infection.

If you do have sex, make sure you are using condoms and lube to minimize the risk of infection. It’s also a good idea to lay down a towel to mitigate bed sheet stains. If you’re having a medical abortion, your doctor may prescribe medications to help with cramping and blood loss. These can be taken the day after your procedure.

It’s important to listen to your body and only have sex when you’re ready, Jeanlus says. Some patients feel ready right away, while others need more time to recover emotionally from their termination. It’s also important to remember that a new menstrual cycle will start immediately after your abortion, and it’s possible to get pregnant if you aren’t using protection.

Your period will likely start within a week after your abortion, depending on the type of abortion you had and how far along you were in the pregnancy. Generally, it will last about four to eight weeks, but it can vary by woman.

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The day after a surgical abortion

If you have had a surgical abortion, it is normal to have bleeding and cramping for a day or two. You should rest, take it easy, and avoid strenuous exercise or heavy labor. Most women feel well enough to resume work and other regular activities the next day. However, it is best not to drive if you have had IV pain medicine or narcotics.

Whether you have had a surgical or a medical abortion, your doctor might recommend waiting until any post-abortion bleeding dissipates before having sex. This is based on the fact that any procedure that dilates the cervix increases the risk of infection. But, ob-gyn Diane Horvath told Cosmopolitan that this recommendation can be biased and comes from a place of “sex-phobic misogyny.”

Horvath suggests that you pay attention to how your body feels and listen to what your partner says. She also points out that there is no right time to return to your normal sex life after an abortion. “We tell our patients, ‘Listen to your body, and when you feel ready, go for it.’”

Horvath advises that you do whatever makes you comfortable, although she says you should put down a towel to mitigate bed sheet stains. She also notes that there is no medical reason to avoid oral sex or penetrative vaginal/front hole sex after an abortion. But, if you do have sexual relations, use a condom to guard against pregnancy, as you will be fertile again as soon as your menstrual cycle restarts.

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The day after a medical abortion

The day after a medical abortion (misoprostol), it is important to rest all day. This is because of the cramping and bleeding that may occur. However, you can resume other normal activities like work and school. However, it is best not to do any strenuous exercise. Also, avoid sitting down in a bath or going swimming until you have been released by the physician at your follow up appointment or two full weeks post abortion.

Women may feel a variety of emotions after an abortion, including relief and sadness. This could impact their libido. Regardless, it is important that they listen to their body and take time to determine when they are ready to start sexual activity again.

If you are using a medical abortion method, it is recommended to wait 4-7 days to have intercourse to reduce your risk of infection. Women who have surgical abortions typically don’t need to wait this long to get pregnant again, as they experience less bleeding after the procedure.

There is no current medical consensus on when it is safe to have sex after an abortion. However, if you want to try to become pregnant again after an abortion, it is important to use contraception. It is possible to ovulate after an abortion, even if you are still bleeding, so you should be on some form of birth control.