If you’ve just had an abortion or are considering one, you might be wondering “how long will I bleed after abortion? How much bleeding is normal? When should I call a doctor?”  

Many women who have taken the abortion pill say they feel underprepared for what they experienced. We don’t want that for you.  

How much pain and bleeding you experience can vary depending on the type of abortion you have, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and more.

Here is what you need to know about how long bleeding should last after an abortion. 

How long do you bleed after an abortion?

Bleeding after the abortion pill

Bleeding and cramping usually starts 2-4 hours after taking misoprostol (the second abortion pill).

If you don’t have any bleeding within 24 hours of taking misoprostol, call your doctor.  

Bleeding after the abortion pill

Bleeding during the abortion: 

Intense bleeding and cramping can last several hours. You can expect to bleed a lot more than you do when on your period. People often compare bleeding to a miscarriage. Cramping might be more painful and frequent than your period as well.  

You may see large blood clots, up to the size of a lemon, and tissue when you pass the pregnancy. The further along you are in your pregnancy, the larger and more noticeable blood clots and pregnancy tissue will be. 

Bleeding and cramping are usually most intense when your body begins to prepare to expel the pregnancy. It usually takes 2-24 hours after taking both abortion pill medications to expel the pregnancy. Sometimes women see the developing baby when it is expelled. This can be a distressing and shocking sight for many women.  

It’s a good idea to have someone you trust with you when having a chemical abortion. Going through an abortion can cause a lot of conflicting emotions, both good and bad. Choose someone you trust to be there to support you, so you don’t go through this alone. 

After the pregnancy is expelled, bleeding and cramping should lessen after 48 hours, but may still be heavier than your normal period. 

Bleeding after an abortion

Week 1 & 2 after abortion 

Most women will have bleeding and cramping similar to their period for about two weeks after. Many women continue to have some blood clots during this time.  

Week 3 & 4 after abortion 

During this time bleeding should be mild to nonexistent. However, if you have some days of mild bleeding, that is not unexpected. By this point, cramping should have disappeared or become very light. 

Week 5 & 6 after abortion 

Your period should return during this time. Your period might be heavier or more crampy than normal, but it should go back to normal next month. 


After the abortion, sharp pain can occur, followed by a gush of blood or clot. If this continues, make sure you contact a medical health provider right away. 

You should have a follow-up appointment scheduled with your healthcare provider 1 to 2 weeks after your abortion. This is a crucial next step for your health. During this appointment, your provider will check if the abortion was complete, there are no infections, and you are healing properly. 

Bleeding after surgical abortion 

For a first-trimester surgical abortion, you can expect to bleed like a normal to light period. You may pass small blood clots. Cramping and soreness can last a few days to several weeks.  

Bleeding usually stops 2 weeks after the procedure, but some women will spot until their next period. Some women don’t bleed at all.  

The further along you are in your pregnancy can affect how long and how heavy your bleeding is. 

How much bleeding is too much?

If you are soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours, you are bleeding too much and should contact a medical provider right away.  

Likewise, heavy bleeding that does not pass or gets worse and passing blood clots larger than the size of a lemon for more than two hours, is also too much bleeding. If you’re not sure if your bleeding is normal, contact a doctor to make sure everything is okay. 

Other common side effects

Common side effects, besides cramping and bleeding, can occur when taking the abortion pill. These usually occur and get better within 24 hours of taking misoprostol and mifepristone. 

Side effects include:  

  • Nausea 
  • Weakness 
  • Fever/chills 
  • Vomiting 
  • Headache 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dizziness  

Contact a doctor if any of these symptoms last more than 24 hours. 

Common abortion side effects

When to contact a doctor

Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following: 


  • Any of the above symptoms for more than 24 hours 
  • Continued heavy bleeding (soaking two or more maxi pads per hour for over two hours) 
  • Increased or heavy bleeding that doesn’t pass or gets worse 
  • Blood clots larger than the size of a lemon for more than two hours 
  • Severe abdominal or back pain 
  • Fever above 100.4 or lasting more than 24 hours 
  • Vaginal discharge with a yellow or green tint and/or or has a foul smell 
  • No period within 4-8 weeks post-abortion 
  • Continued pregnancy symptoms 

To help ER staff treat you properly, it is crucial to be truthful about taking the abortion pill. 

If you feel like something is not right, regardless of the severity of your symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor or go to the emergency room. We encourage you to listen to your body and take care of your health.  

Get the care you need at Thrive Savannah

Don’t hesitate to get the care you need. At Thrive Savannah we care about you, your body, and your health. If you think you’re bleeding too much, have concerns, or want to talk to someone about your abortion or other pregnancy options, we are here to help. 

If you need to talk to someone about what you went through and what you are feeling after your abortion – both physically and emotionally, there is help available to you. You are not alone. 

Make an appointment today.