Whether abortion is a personal choice, a medical requirement or a spontaneous occurrence, bleeding after abortion is quite normal and to be expected. However the duration of bleeding may vary, as may the volume of the blood flow.
Bleeding after abortion can differ greatly – some women bleed very little and for a very short time, while others may bleed for ten days to two weeks. Some bleed continuously while others have intermittent bleeding.
Though in some cases the bleeding may last just a few days after abortion and in others it may last for up to five weeks, the rule of thumb should be that if the bleeding lasts for more than two weeks it should be checked out.
If the bleeding continues for a long period after abortion then this could mean that an incomplete abortion took place; that some tissue of the fetus was left to be removed.
Such an incomplete abortion will mean having to undergo a D& C to have the abortion process fully completed.
The amount of bleeding that one can expect after abortion should be no heavier than a period at its heaviest. Also the passage of clots is usually normal and not a worrisome sign – clots the size of a grape or a quarter, are usually passed after an abortion. However if the size of the clots is larger, then this should be reported immediately to the doctor.
Also the bleeding after abortion should get progressively lighter. If the reverse is true and it gets heavier rather than lighter, this is also not a good sign and should be reported.
Another factor to look for is the color of the blood after the abortion procedure. If the color of the bleeding changes to a brighter red, this could be a danger sign since it indicates ‘fresh’ bleeding. After an abortion a woman is typically advised against any strenuous activity for a time and against lifting things and so on.
If however some physical activity seems to have triggered any fresh bleeding, report this to the doctor and while you wait for the doctor to give advice, take things easy by taking bed rest.
It isn’t just the bleeding after abortion that one should pay attention to – any other kind of discharge should also be watched out for – if there is any foul smelling discharge or a discharge of tissue this is not OK and could be a sign of things not being as they should be.
What may also be of concern after an abortion is if there is any abdominal swelling or tenderness. If there is any change in bowel movements, particularly if they are less frequent or have stopped, or if there is any bleeding from the anus this also could be problematic.
If there are any symptoms of pregnancy still persisting even after an abortion, then call the doctor. Any dizziness, nausea or fainting spells should also be reported.
Bleeding after abortion could in care cases cause a complication called “Postabortal Syndrome” wherein the contents of the uterus block the mouth of the cervix and prevent them from being expelled.