Sexual intercourse after medical abortion is often a personal experience as the sex drive is noticed to be different. While physical intimacy may be the last thing in mind for some women, others may feel the return of sex drive soon after an abortion. It is important to remember that it is not enough just for the body to be ready, but emotions are ready as well. When the body heals both physically and mentally after an abortion, one may wonder if she can start having intercourse again. General suggestion to resume sex is as early as 2 weeks which is usually once the bleeding has stopped after the medical abortion. Certain situations do require a longer wait or a check-up at the Chennai abortion clinic to get advice before having sexual intercourse post medical abortion.
Factors that determine how soon to have intercourse after abortion
How long it takes to recover from an abortion varies with individuals and different things that affect the process may be detailed as:
How long was the pregnancy? – The early stages of pregnancy (7-9 weeks) is terminated with the help of medicine and the surgical process is needed for longer duration of pregnancy not exceeding 20 weeks. An early abortion usually resolves relatively quickly and resembles only a late period, whereas a late abortion requires more physical healing time. Thus, recovery from abortion depends on the development stage of the foetus that is being expelled. Early abortions that happen immediately after an attempt can result in all foetal tissues being expelled from the uterus, allowing the process to resolve more quickly. Late abortions that may take longer to start or to complete, requires surgery and more overall recovery time. For an ectopic or molar pregnancy that is terminated, different guidelines will be recommended to be followed. Regardless of how or when the abortion was carried out, specific healing timeline and subsequent time for having intercourse may be different from what may be recommended for somebody else.
Why wait for minimum 2 weeks? – Though medical abortions are common, physical details of how an actual abortion happens can be quite individual and is hard to process. Bleeding for a period of time after an abortion, occurs as the body clears the uterus. The cervix dilates wider than normal to facilitate expulsion of the uterine content and during this process, exposing the more open cervix more prone to infections of the uterus and the reproductive tract. Waiting for a minimum period of 2 weeks after abortion to insert anything into the vagina, including tampons, douches, menstrual cups, contraceptive devices or to avoid any penetration including penile intercourse is to allow healing and prevent infections in the early days after an abortion. In case of missed or incomplete abortions where all the foetal tissues have not been passed out through the vagina would require medical intervention to speed up the process. Under such unique circumstances, abortion doctors in Chennai recommend to wait for a specific amount of time to have an intercourse varying on the relative symptoms of the individual.
How long and how heavy was the bleeding? – Medication abortion may cause period-like bleeding for up to 4 weeks following the abortion. Stop and start several times after abortion is considered normal. Some women may prefer to wait until their bleeding stopped to resume sex whereas others don’t wait. It is always recommended to wait until the bleeding has stopped after an abortion to have sex. The duration and flow of the bleed can be quite individual, usually in proportion to a number of situations, for instance, if all the tissue have been expelled from the uterus or not. With complete abortion, bleeding is expected to stop within 1 to 2 weeks but circumstances may not be so like the textbook, allowing bleeding to last anywhere between a day to a month. In case of retained tissues after abortion through pills, surgical intervention would be recommended. Medical termination that involves procedures such as D&C can cause bleeding time to vary. Since these procedures aim to empty the uterus completely, the bleeding may be slightly shorter that may last between 1 and 2 weeks that is inclusive of the time already spent bleeding at the onset of the incomplete abortion. It is significant to note that if bleeding after the medical termination through pills or through D&C does not stop, a check-up would be required. An examination of the contents of the uterus through an ultrasound can check for any remaining tissue. An infection can result from tissues retained in the uterus, making it important to abstain from sexual intercourse until the uterus is emptied.
Need for birth control after an abortion? – It is possible to get pregnant almost immediately after having an abortion even while still bleeding. First menstrual period may occur within 4 to 6 weeks after an abortion but there may not be the necessity to wait especially when feeling ready and fit after a complete miscarriage. However, it is important to avoid birth control measures such as IUDs that may not allow healing of the uterus or oral pills that can be ineffective to avoid pregnancy soon after abortion. Use of condoms is the only way to stay protected against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhoea and chlamydia that can be otherwise acquired easily while having intercourse following an abortion.
Difficulty with intimacy after abortion? – It is not common that a woman is not feeling up to having intercourse after an abortion. While the woman’s body may have physically recovered and intercourse may be technically safe, emotional wounds of loss can take time to heal. It may take time to process the emotions and experience the grievance. A solid support network of family and friends or a therapist at abortion centres in Chennai to talk through the feelings can make the process easier. Intimacy need not be necessarily through intercourse. Other ways to express intimacy after abortion could include hugging, cuddling, holding hands, gentle massage or conversations over a date