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How long does it take to recover from an abortion?

Abortion  •  12 April 2023  • 5 min read

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Recovery times after an abortion will be different for everyone but you’ll usually feel better within a few days. It is important that you take all the time you need to look after yourself. We are here to support you.

In this blog, you will find information about:

  • Abortion treatment options at MSI UK
  • Recovery after an abortion
  • Pregnancy symptoms after an abortion
  • Your feelings after an abortion
  • Post-abortion counselling

What abortion treatment options do we provide? 

At MSI Reproductive Choices in the UK, we offer medical (and telemedicine) and surgical abortions across our clinics in England.

medical abortion, also known as “Abortion with pills”, uses medication to end a pregnancy. The treatment involves taking two types of medicine at two different times. It is the safest treatment option up to 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy for most people.

surgical abortion is a safe and simple procedure carried out by specialist doctors in a clinic and involves the pregnancy being removed through your vagina, either by using suction (vacuum aspiration) or specialised instruments (dilation and evacuation).

How long do pregnancy symptoms last after abortion?

Nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) should stop after a couple of days. This is one of the first pregnancy symptoms to stop after an abortion.

If you have had a medical abortion (“Abortion with pills”), it is important that you take the pregnancy test we have provided three weeks after your abortion. Please use the test we have provided, as it is different to the shop bought tests.

The pregnancy hormone can be present for up to two months after an abortion. This means that a shop-bought pregnancy test may remain positive for up to two months, even though you are no longer pregnant, which is why you need to use the special one we provide.

If your pregnancy test is positive, call our aftercare line on 03451221441 to speak to a healthcare professional. Our team can help you to book an appointment for an assessment, and further treatment if needed.

You can always get back in touch with your abortion provider, should you have any questions during or after your treatment. They are always there to support you. If you have had treatment with MSI UK and have any abortion aftercare questions, you can call our 24-hour dedicated aftercare line on 03451221441.

How to support your abortion aftercare and recovery 

Everybody is different and abortion recovery can vary from person to person. Here are our recommendations to help your recovery after an abortion:

  • If you have had a surgical abortion, you can use the sanitary wear you’re most comfortable with.
  • If you have had a medical abortion, you can use any sanitary wear during and after the abortion, but sanitary pads can be easier to track your bleeding. On days your bleeding is heavy, we recommend wearing a suitable pad such as the thick maternity ones. If you use tampons or menstrual cups, please consider using sanitary pads instead for 48 hours after taking the second tablets (misoprostol) and if you use them, please change them regularly.
  • Your vagina will clean itself with natural discharge. Do not use a douche or use any soap inside the vagina as this can disrupt the normal bacteria and increase the risk of infection.
  • You may feel light-headed during or immediately after your abortion, and if you do, for your safety, do not take a shower or bath until this has passed.
  • It is safe to have a bath, to go swimming and to exercise as soon as you feel comfortable to do so.
  • It is safe to have sex when you feel ready. Please remember that fertility returns quickly after a medical abortion. You can get pregnant again within a week after the abortion.

You can find more detailed guidance on how to support your recovery following either a medical or surgical abortion on our abortion aftercare page.

Your feelings after an abortion and post-abortion counselling

Everyone is different, and it is normal to feel a range of different emotions after an abortion. You might feel relieved or sad, or maybe a mixture of feelings. On our website, you can read abortion stories that our clients share with us via our abortion story online form, to help you know what to expect and reassure you that you are not alone.

At MSI Reproductive Choices, we also provide free, confidential counselling services as part of our abortion care. Our counselling team is available any time you need to talk before, during and after your treatment, even if your abortion was some years ago. 

Call us on 03453008090 to arrange a counselling appointment.  

Get in touch

At MSI Reproductive Choices, we are here for you and there are a number of ways you can contact us.    

You can always get in touch should you have any questions about our services, would like to book an appointment or you have had treatment with us and want aftercare support.  


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