Frequently Asked Questions About Abortion

Does abortion hurt?

Many people describe the feeling as something similar to menstrual cramps. Every person’s experience is different. We offer several options to help you feel comfortable and help manage any pain or anxiety if needed. We provide a calm and relaxing environment, the option of having a friend, partner, or family member with you, and our supportive staff is available to address your worries or concerns. Being in such caring surroundings reduces anxiety and can help you relax and feel safe and well cared for. We also offer pain and anxiety medications!

You may have a little cramping after your abortion. You’ll probably want to take it easy for a while afterward. Most people are back to normal the next day.

How soon can I have an abortion?

Technology now allows us to know we are pregnant almost immediately, even before we have missed a period. Terminating your pregnancy early offers you two options – medication abortion, which begins with a pill in the office followed by a second medication 24 hours later, or an early in-clinic abortion.

To start figuring this out on your own, try to remember when the first day of your last normal period was, and count to 5 weeks. You count 5 weeks instead of 3 because, in a 28-day cycle, women usually conceive ~2 weeks past the first day of their last period. If you need help figuring it out, please give us a call or come to see us, and we’ll help you estimate your length of pregnancy.

How soon can I have sex after an abortion?

You can have sex as soon as you feel ready.

How will I feel after my abortion?

Most people feel relief after their abortion. Some people have some cramping and a little bleeding as well. These are all normal. It is also ok to feel more than one emotion at a time and to feel ups and downs as the pregnancy hormones leave your body. Take the time you need, and surround yourself with folks who love and support you. If you are not able to do that, for whatever reason, please know we are always here for you – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We have staff on call to support you and answer any questions you have.

Everyone knows someone and loves someone who has had an abortion. You are not alone.


How will my abortion affect my periods?

Abortion starts a new menstrual cycle, so your period should go back to normal 4-8 weeks after your abortion. The birth control method you use will affect when your next period will come.

You should have a period by 8 weeks after your abortion, if you are not using any birth control. If you’re not using birth control and you don’t get your period 8 weeks after your abortion, let your doctor know.

You may have some bleeding right after your abortion that’s different than your period. You could have heavy bleeding with clots for a few days, or spotting for several weeks. You can use pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup — whatever’s the most comfortable for you. You might want to use pads so you can track how much you’re bleeding. If you’re concerned about bleeding after your abortion, give us a call.

I am 16 years old. Do I have to tell my mother?

Many young people tell a parent when they are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion. You’d be surprised. Many parents have had an abortion themselves and will be supportive and helpful, not punishing – if you seek their help.

You may be scared, you may feel like you’ve let them down. That’s normal. No one gets pregnant to have an abortion and no one plans to be in this situation.

Many states have regulations requiring minors (patients under 18) to tell one or more parents if they plan to have an abortion, and some states do not. Even where notification or consent is required, there’s usually an exception. This is called “judicial bypass”. It’s for minors who simply can’t tell their parents safely.

Is abortion safe?

Yes, abortion is safe. There are many false myths surrounding abortion from people who do not believe you should have the choice. While every medical procedure involves some risk, the truth is that abortion is one of the safest and most common out-patient procedures in the U.S. – 14 times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering vaginally. 1 out of every 3 American women will have at least one abortion in her lifetime. 60% of the women who choose abortion are already mothers. The woman who chooses abortion today may well choose parenthood later. Abortion at any gestation is always safer than childbirth. Good resources on the safety of abortion are The Guttmacher Institute and the National Abortion Federation.

What happens after my abortion procedure?

Right after your abortion, you’ll rest in a recovery room for about 30 minutes. Please plan to bring someone to help you get home safely. If you have any sedation, we can’t let you drive or leave by yourself. You should take it easy for the rest of the day.

You will be able to go back to work, school, driving, exercise, and most other normal activities the next day. You can have sex as soon as you feel ready.

It’s normal to have some bleeding after an abortion. You can use pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup — whatever’s the most comfortable for you. You may have spotting for several weeks. Some people don’t bleed at all. Any of these are normal reactions.

We will send you home with written instructions about what to expect and how to take care of yourself after your abortion. You’ll get a phone number you can call with any questions or concerns — we’re here to help 24/7 after your abortion.

Most people don’t have any problems after their abortion. Recovery is usually quick and easy. Please call us right away if you:

soak 2 maxi pads per hour for 2 hours
have belly pain or cramps that don’t get better with pain medication
have a fever of 100.4℉ or higher

When can I start using birth control after my abortion?

Caution! You can get pregnant right after your abortion, so it’s a good idea to think about using birth control as soon as you can. We can help you find a method that’s right for you – whether it be the pill, the shot, or barrier methods like condoms.

Most Whole Woman’s Health clinics can provide an IUD or other long-acting forms of contraception soon after your abortion. Ask our staff if you are interested!

Will an abortion affect my health? Will I be able to have children later?

One of the myths surrounding abortion is that abortion causes infertility. Another myth is that the more abortions a person has, the more infertile they become. These myths are created by people who wish to make us feel badly. There is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that abortion is in any way linked to infertility. In fact, it’s possible to get pregnant quickly after you have an abortion. So it’s a good idea to talk to your nurse or doctor about a birth control plan for after your abortion.

Having an abortion doesn’t increase your risk for breast cancer, and it doesn’t cause depression or mental health issues either. Most of our patients have children and may also need abortion care during their lifetime. This is a normal part of a healthy reproductive care.

Will there be protesters standing outside?

Abortion clinic patients are, unfortunately, sometimes the target of local anti-abortion campaigns. There may be protesters out on the sidewalk before you drive into our parking lot. They may try to stop your car, hand you packets with false information, or carry signs that are intended to gross you out.

A few important things to remember if you see protestors outside of our clinic:

  1. You do not have to talk to them. Their goal is to persuade you to leave your appointment. If you’d like to talk about other pregnancy options, trust that you can talk to us about these as well, and we are licensed, trained medical professionals. We are here to serve your needs, and we trust your decision, no matter what it is.
  2. Protestors are not allowed on the property.
  3. Protestors may not block your access to entering our clinic – either by walking in front of your car or your body.
  4. If you at all feel uncomfortable about getting to our clinic, call us. We will be more than happy to come greet you and escort you inside of the building. If you feel intimidated or threatened, do not hesitate to call the police.

Frequently Asked Questions About Payment

Do you take insurance?

All Whole Woman’s Health clinics are currently contracted with most insurance carriers.

Every insurance plan and coverage is a bit different. Some patients only owe a co-payment and some only receive coverage for a portion of the visit. If you’d like to know more about your insurance coverage, call us, and we will help you figure it out.

Whole Woman’s Health also accepts Medicaid for abortion services in Maryland,  Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Do you offer financial help or payment plans?

Whole Woman’s Health staff members are exceptional at helping women in need obtain funding and financial assistance. We are not set up to do payment plans but are dedicated funding advocates for women. Whether by helping you brainstorm ways to raise money or working overtime ourselves to call funding agencies on your behalf, we will do all we can to help you through this time. We can also complete eligibility for some funding when you call to make your appointment.

Can I use someone else's credit card?

If you’re using another person’s credit card, they will need to be present during the time of payment and will need a valid ID. Also they could simply use PayPal through our website to help you out from wherever they are sitting..