February 28, 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.