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How long after an early abortion will pregnancy symptoms go away?


Having an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy can be an incredibly difficult situation to deal with. Most of the time, once a woman decides that she wants to end an early pregnancy, she wants to get it over with as quickly and safely as possible. At Early Options, we encourage women to follow through with an abortion early, as for most it will help emotionally to know that the pregnancy ended before it had a chance to develop.

However, it is important that women also understand what to expect after having an abortion. Unfortunately, just because you have ended your pregnancy does not mean that you will stop “feeling” pregnant immediately. The pregnancy hormone will take days to weeks to completely leave your system, all depending on how far along in the pregnancy you are at the time of the termination, and also the early abortion method you have chosen. Your hormone level will drop at a quicker rate with the SofTouch® Aspiration Procedure than with the abortion pill.  

For very early pregnancy termination, the pregnancy hormone (or Hcg) level in your body can drop by up to 50% in the first few hours after a termination, meaning that for the first little while after an abortion, it is possible that your hormone level will fluctuate drastically and can cause you to feel more emotional than normal. If this happens, it is important to remind yourself that this experience will pass as your hormone level normalizes.

Pregnancy symptoms can take a while longer to completely go away, and again, will depend on how far into the pregnancy you were at the time of the abortion. Nausea, which most people say is the worst symptom, is usually the first to go away, with most patients saying morning sickness will stop within 48 hours. However, over-the-counter anti-nausea medication can be taken to help with this symptom if it is disrupting your daily routine.

Breast swelling and tenderness, as well as moodiness, can take up to 2 weeks to go away, but over the course of that 2 weeks, should be getting better, not worse. If, after your procedure, your pregnancy symptoms have not gotten better or gone away after 2 weeks, you should contact your abortion provider.

A home pregnancy test can remain positive up to 4 weeks after an abortion. This is a key point to remember after you have an abortion. It can seem like a good idea to take a home pregnancy test after you’ve terminated a pregnancy. Some women feel that it will make them feel better, but this is more often than not, not the case. It is better for you to refrain from taking this type of test for at least a month after an abortion. If you take one too early, and it still shows a positive result, all that this will accomplish is adding stress to your recovery, which is why we advise against it.

Beginning a hormonal birth control regimen immediately after an abortion can also help with the regulation of the hormones in your body. Because of the hormonal fluctuations associated with ending a pregnancy, it is not uncommon for your menstrual cycle to be irregular for a few months. Taking a daily hormone, like the birth control pill or Nuvaring, helps to stabilize this, and therefore, helps to get your cycle back to normal.

Finally, it is very important for women to understand that ovulation can occur very quickly after an abortion, sometimes in the first couple of weeks. This makes is imperative that you use some form of birth control if you choose to be sexually active. You can get pregnant again as soon as you ovulate again, even if you are still bleeding from an abortion procedure or your period.

Understanding what to expect after an abortion is a key part of the process. Listen to your body and take care of yourself. Once your body has adjusted to all of the changes, it will get back to normal.