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Can You Have Sex After Having An Abortion?

by Irina Gonzalez

Abortion is not an easy topic to discuss, but it's an important one to be educated about, especially if you have had or are considering having an abortion. No matter what your reasons are for choosing not to have a child at this point in your life, one of the first questions that may come to mind during your after-abortion care is can you have sex after having an abortion.

Now, it may not be one of the first things on your mind. After all, you need time to emotionally and physically heal. But once you feel ready, it's important to know when it is safe and advisable to become sexually active again. The answer to whether or not you can have sex after having an abortion may depend on the type of abortion a woman has had. According to Planned Parenthood, there are two basic ways of having an abortion: a surgical abortion and a medicated abortion. Although both are very common and safe, they have different recovery periods and therefore different recommendations on when you can have sex again.

Planned Parenthood noted that, for an surgical abortion — also know as an in-clinic abortion — you can have sex as soon as you feel ready. Meanwhile, for a medication abortion, Planned Parenthood noted that most doctors and nurses recommend waiting at least a week after your abortion before having sex or putting anything inside of your vagina, such as fingers, sex toys, and tampons.

According to Healthline, however, it is best if you wait two weeks to have sex after an abortion, no matter which type of abortion procedure you underwent. The reason for this is to reduce the risk of infection as well as an important part of post-abortion care.

After an abortion, you should take note of any side effects and complications you may be experiencing before engaging in intercourse again. According to the aforementioned Healthline article, some normal side effects include abdominal cramps, light vaginal bleeding, nausea and vomiting, sore breasts, and fatigue. Meanwhile, a common complication may be an infection that is caused by an incomplete abortion or exposure to bacteria vaginally (such as if you have sex too soon afterwards).

In order to avoid this potential complication, be careful when you plan to engage in sex again and use pads instead of tampons. If you notice strong-smelling vaginal discharge, fever, or severe pelvic pain (such as during sex), then call your doctor or local clinic for advice. An untreated infection can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, so it is important to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms. If you can wait the two weeks to have sex, as recommended by the aforementioned Healthline article, that may be best in order to reduce your chances of this potential complication.