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Having sex after an abortion

Sex after an abortion is an individual choice. Our article outlines some considerations for your mental and physical health. Read more about having sex after an abortion now.

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After having an abortion you may be wondering when it’s safe to have sex again. Emotional changes, worries of getting pregnant again, or concerns about your physical health may all present questions about when it’s safe to have sex after an abortion. There’s no one simple rule, but your own mental and physical health are the most important things to consider.

How long after an abortion can you have sex?

After an abortion, you can return to sexual activity as soon as you feel ready. Some medical providers may recommend you wait to resume sexual activity (or put anything inside your vagina) due to a very small risk of infection; however, newer studies suggest this is not medically necessary – so the choice is ultimately yours regarding when you feel ready to have sex - both physically and mentally. You may find that while you are physically fine, you need a little extra time to get “in the mood.” Being emotionally ready for sex is just as important as being physically ready, so give yourself all the time you need to return to your “normal” sex life.

When can I have sex after a medication abortion?

After your abortion, you can have sex whenever you feel ready. Medication abortion may cause period-like bleeding for up to 4 weeks following your abortion - it’s normal for it to stop and start several times. Some people prefer to wait to have sex until their bleeding has stopped, other people don’t.

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Trust yourself & your body

The time and fashion in which you re-engage with sexual activities after an abortion is entirely up to you. Listen to the advice of your abortion provider, prioritize your mental health and personal pleasure, and, above all, trust your ability to move at your own pace.

When should I start birth control after treatment, or when can I get pregnant again after an abortion?

You can get pregnant almost immediately after having an abortion even if you are still bleeding. If you do not want to get pregnant, it is important that you use condoms or another form of birth control. Only condoms can protect you against sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Talk with your medical provider about birth control options or use condoms for protection to prevent pregnancy. Looking to renew your birth control prescription or try something new? Hey Jane can help. Get started.

What will sex be like after an abortion?

Sex after abortion is a personal experience and you may notice that your sex drive is different. Most people report the return of a normal sex drive following their abortion. Studies show that those who are satisfied with their romantic relationships are more likely to have sexual satisfaction. If you are ever in a situation that feels unsafe, talk to your primary care doctor or someone you trust. You may also experience increased bleeding after sex following your abortion. Bleeding after sex is not uncommon and may occur whether or not you’ve had an abortion, however, if your bleeding is heavy or is associated with heavy cramping or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, speak to your medical provider. Pain during sex, fever, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge are all signs you should speak with your doctor.

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Written by

Sally Rashid, RN BSN

Sally Rashid is a Registered Nurse and writer living in Detroit, Michigan. She has worked in reproductive care for a decade as a doula, nurse, and advocate for abortion access. Sally was a 2020 winner of Yes, And Laughter Lab's competitive incubation program for her work as writer and co-creator of Darling, a dark comedy about an abortion clinic at constant risk of closure. On top of writing for the beauty and healthcare industries, Sally is an all-around creative lady who loves music, making connections, and chilling with her two cats.

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