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Menstruation After Abortions

Published: August 14, 2007
Dear TeenHealthFX,

 

Hi, I had an abortion 8 weeks ago and still have not gotten my period. I was wondering if it is possible that my abortion was not successful as I just took a pregnancy test and its postive.

Signed: Menstruation After Abortions

Dear Menstruation After Abortions,

 

TeenHealthFX would like to start by explaining what is typical in terms of bleeding and menstruation following an abortion. It can be very normal for a woman to bleed for a couple of days following an abortion. The bleeding will then tend to decrease for a couple of weeks following the abortion, and, in most cases, menstruation will occur after 5-6 weeks. If a woman bleeds more heavily than usual following an abortion, it could be that her uterus has not been completely emptied and an examination by a medical professional would be advisable. FX would also like to stress that some women may not experience any bleeding immediately following an abortion and some may take more than the average 5-6 weeks to start menstruating again.

 

FX is unclear whether you had a medical abortion (which entails taking medications to end a pregnancy) or surgical abortion (which involves emptying the uterus with surgical instruments). If you had a medical abortion, it is possible that it was not successful and that you are still pregnant. Since you did have a positive pregnancy test, FX recommends that you make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. That way you can be re-tested and make whatever arrangements for another abortion in the event that you are still pregnant.

 

FX is also unsure if have been sexually active in the past 8 weeks. Some women are sexually active and do not use protection following an abortion or following childbirth because they mistakenly believe that they cannot get pregnant again right away – but it is possible. So if you have had unprotected sex in the past 8 weeks, it is possible that your abortion was successful, but that you got pregnant again. If that is the case, when you meet with your doctor to determine whether you are currently pregnant, FX recommends that you also speak with him/her about the safer sex methods that are best for you to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies in the future.

 

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood.  

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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