8:14 am - 01/12/2009

menstrual cycle after a medical abortion

so i had a medical abortion nearly a month ago, and i've neither had a period yet nor experienced any signs that said period is on its merry way. in fact, to my knowledge, i haven't even ovulated yet. i practice FAM, so i'm pretty aware of my cyclical changes, and i haven't noticed anything that would indicate my cycle is moving along as it should. the doctor explained that my cycle would be out of whack for 6 weeks after the abortion, which of course makes sense. and i've been stressed, so that would be delaying ovulation even more.

where does your cycle pick up after a medical abortion? does your body consider it a period, and thus your cycle starts from day 1? does it just go haywire for those 6 weeks before starting up again normally?

if i still don't notice my cycle getting back on track after 6 full weeks are up, i'm going to go back and see the doctor. i'm just trying to get a little reassurance in the meantime!
shyshutterbug 12th-Jan-2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
The first menstrual period typically shows up between four and eight weeks after the end of a pregnancy. In my experience, the average is roughly six weeks. I've seen as soon as two weeks post-abortion and as far out as the eight-week mark; if menses have not resumed after eight weeks, we usually advise women to seek medical attention.

The first day of your next period will indeed be considered "day one" as normal. This first period may be abnormal, but those are not permanent changes; given a cycle or two, your body will sort of remember what it does naturally and act accordingly.

Good luck :)
pygmybugs 12th-Jan-2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
When I had a medical abortion, I started my NuvaRing right after, pretty much. As soon as my "two weeks of nothing in the vagina" was over, and after I had my post-abortion check-up (with ultrasound to make sure all the bits passed correctly), I went straight to the ring. So I don't guess that helps you at all. Except I was bleeding and spotting up until I went on the ring.

However, having also had two surgical abortions (with no HBC after), I can tell you that it muddles up your regular cycle for quite a while. I think close to two months for both of those, for me. I think the medical would do so even more, since it adds outside chemicals/hormones to your already wonky normal hormones.

Did you have a post-abortion exam? It was required for me, all 3 times. That would be the likeliest way, I think, to make sure everything's kosher in Uterus-ville. As far as tracking yourself with FAM, I'll admit I don't know all that much about it, but I'd think some backup for a while might be the best course of action, since I don't know how long it will take your body to get back to a recognizeable cycle. 6 weeks seems like a good ballpark, but everyone's body reacts differently.
wronske 12th-Jan-2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
i did have an exam afterward, but there was no ultrasound. this kind of surprised me, since during the explanation of the procedure the counselor told me i would have to get another ultrasound during my follow-up. instead, the doctor just looked up there and declared that my uterus had emptied.

i guess this is why i'm a little worried. i was very aware of certain changes in my body that occurred during the pregnancy and some of them are still present. for instance, i still have a distinct type of cervical fluid (super wet, coming out constantly) and my natural body smell becoming weirdly spicy- neither of which i'd experienced prior to the pregnancy.
pygmybugs 12th-Jan-2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Hm. Yeah, I can understand your worrying, then. I actually made them turn the ultrasound screen towards me so I could witness my empty uterus for myself! (Also, I have a weird thing about liking to see any imaging done of my insides.)

It's been a while, but I seem to remember my body taking quite a while to go back to it's pre-prego norms. My body odor and urine smells going back to normal, appetite, et cetera. It's a fairly monumental undertaking for your body to do, so I imagine it takes a while for it to notice "Oh hey, nothing in there anymore, back to standard operating procedures." As far as cervical mucous goes, after the medical, I went straight to the Ring, which pretty much turned my vagina into a drool factory, so I can't really say when that went back to normal.
rahnia 13th-Jan-2009 04:01 am (UTC)
I had one, and afterward I was bleeding for a while, sort of like a period, and then next month at the same time I menstruated as normal...however, I don't recall ovulating between, quite honestly. But I had so many other things going on at the time I wasn't paying the same close attention that I normally do.
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