Frequently Asked Gynecology Questions
Learn the answers to frequently asked questions about abortion risks, side effects, methods, and more. Click on the question to see the answer.
Are there any restrictions following an abortion procedure?
There are a few restrictions that a patient must follow after an abortion to achieve full recovery. Patients must not insert anything in the vagina for 3 weeks. This includes no sexual intercourse, no tampons and no douching. Swimming, tub bathing, heavy lifting, and strenuous activity are also prohibited. After having a medical abortion the restrictions remain the same for 2 weeks.
When will I have a normal period?
Your period should come within 6-8 weeks.
How long do you bleed after an abortion?
This varies from patient to patient. Spotting or bleeding may be continuous or start and stop several times over a 3 week period. After a medical abortion, the patient may experience heavier bleeding for 2-3 weeks after taking the pills.
How will I know if the Abortion Pill was successful?
The check up visit is very important because this will confirm that the abortion was successful and complete. When you return for a 2 week follow up visit an ultrasound will be performed to confirm.
Can I get pregnant after an abortion?
Yes, definitely. Routine abortion does not cause infertility. You can get pregnant within a few weeks after an abortion, so it is important to practice prevention right away. Ovulation can occur at any time, even when you are bleeding.
Can I return to school or work the next day?
Most patients can resume normal activities the next day. If your schedule involves heavy lifting or strenuous activity, we will provide you with a work or school excuse letter stating that you must avoid certain activities.
I have been bleeding for a month after a surgical abortion. Is that normal?
Bleeding after a surgical abortion shouldn’t be longer than a month. After one month of bleeding you should get an evaluation from your doctor.
How do I know if I’m pregnant again after an abortion?
After an abortion, the pregnancy test can remain positive for over a month. If you think that it is possible that you got pregnant, please call our office. We can have you come in for an appointment where a blood draw will be done to confirm it is a new pregnancy.
What is the earliest you can be in a pregnancy to terminate?
In most cases the abortion can be performed as early as the EPT pregnancy test shows positive results or at approximately 5 to 6 weeks. Make an appointment with us if your period is two weeks late.
How will you know how far I am in my pregnancy?
Our medical staff will perform an ultrasound to determine the length of gestation.
How will I know that the abortion was successful?
The contents of the uterus are examined by our trained staff and then sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis. The results of the analysis are sent to the doctor within 5 days of the procedure. A post-op sonogram will be performed if necessary. You are also advised to return to the clinic two to three weeks after surgery for a postoperative evaluation.
What happens if I have some complications/problems after my abortion?
Professional medical staff is available to our patients 24 hours every day. If you have any questions or are experiencing post-operative problems, please call our office number at any hour of the day or night. Our trained staff will speak with you and may ask that you return to our clinic for evaluation.
Can I still get pregnant in the future after my abortion?
Yes, there is no evidence that having an abortion has any effect on future pregnancies.
How is a Surgical Abortion performed?
The surgery is a simple procedure performed by aspiration (suction). This procedure is referred to as a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) and takes about 5 minutes. If you are over 14 weeks pregnant, you will first have your uterus dilated with a sterile product made specifically for cervical dilation. You will return for the actual surgery on the second day. This procedure is referred to as D&E (Dilation and Extraction). In some cases, a patient will require two consecutive days of dilation and will return for the surgery on the third day. The dilation procedure takes just a few minutes and you will be in the clinic for approximately 2 hours the day or days that you are dilated.
Is it a doctor who performs the surgery?
Yes. All of our doctors are Board Certified and licensed by the State of New York and specialize in pregnancy termination.
How effective is surgical abortion?
In most cases, surgical abortion is completely effective. A small percentage of cases will require re-aspiration if unusual bleeding occurs or if there is retained tissue.
How will I feel after my surgical abortion?
Most patients experience some cramping. If the cramping is not relieved by over the counter medications such as Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil, we ask the patient to call our 24-hour emergency number. You may take a shower after surgery. Do not douche, use tampons or have intercourse for two weeks. Avoid any products that contain aspirin as aspirin promotes bleeding.
Will it hurt?
If you have chosen deep sedation you will be completely asleep during the surgery so you will not feel any pain. After the procedure you may experience cramping, which can range from mild to moderate. In most cases Extra Strength Tylenol, Aleve or Motrin will alleviate the cramping. If the cramping is not alleviated with these remedies, you should call us immediately.
I am afraid I won’t wake up after anesthesia. Can that happen?
The anesthesia that we offer is safe, effective and short acting. You will be asleep from 5-10 minutes depending on the procedure. There is always some degree of risk with any surgery. Serious complications with deep sedation are extremely rare in our facilities. Most complications occur when a patient has ingested food or liquid within 8 hours of surgery. Tell your counselor if you have had prior complications with anesthesia or if you have had anything to eat or drink within 8 hours prior to your surgery.
Can I return to work? Or should I take off for a few days?
The majority of our patients return to work or school the following day. Your counselor and medical staff will explain the DO’s and DON’Ts after surgery.
How long will I bleed after surgery?
In most cases the patient experiences bleeding for 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery. However, some patients do not experience any bleeding and other patients have spotting or bleeding off and on. It is important that you return for your post-operative evaluation two weeks after your procedure.
When can I have sex again after the surgery?
You should not have sex for two weeks after your procedure. When you return for your post-op check up, the practitioner will advise if you can resume sexual intercourse. We recommend that you abstain from sexual activity because following your procedure you are more susceptible to infection and new pregnancy.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
When anesthesia is administered, gag reflexes are temporarily suppressed. If food or liquid remain in the stomach, vomiting can occur resulting in asphyxiation.
What is the Abortion Pill?
Medical abortion is a method to terminate pregnancy non-surgically with medication. This method is available to women under nine weeks of pregnancy. The medication used is Mifeprex and Cytotec tablets.
What if the pill doesn’t work?
In a small percentage of cases, the tablets given for non-surgical abortion do not cause miscarriage. In these cases, the patient could require a surgical pregnancy termination.