Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Family Planning after an Abortion

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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 15: Abortion and Complications from Abortion > Family Planning after an Abortion


After an abortion you can get pregnant again right away—in as soon as 2 weeks. Many methods of family planning take time to start working, so talk with someone about family planning and start using one of these methods as soon as possible.

a packet of 28 pills in 4 rows
  • The Pill: You can start taking pills on the same day as the abortion. Do not wait more than one week.
two types of IUD in the palm of a hand
  • Intra-Uterine Device (IUD):
    If there is no risk of infection, a trained health worker can put in an IUD right after the abortion.

A woman who has just had an abortion most likely did not want to become pregnant. This is a good time to offer her information about family planning methods and how to get them.

  • Injections: The first injection should be given on the day of the abortion, or up to one week after.
a syringe next to a bottle labeled 'injectable contraceptive'
  • Implants: Implants can be put in just before or just after the abortion, or up to one week later.
  • Female sterilization: If your pregnancy was less than 3 months, you can be sterilized during the abortion or right after it. It is very important that you make this decision carefully. Sterilization is permanent.
  • Male sterilization: Sterilization for a man can be done any time and is permanent. This decision must be made carefully.
  • Condoms: You and your partner can use condoms as soon as you have sex again. Condoms also protect against STIs, including HIV.
  • Spermicide: You can use spermicide as soon as you have sex again. Do not use spermicide if you have HIV, or if you have many sex partners.
  • Diaphragm: If there was no infection or injury, you can be fitted with a diaphragm after the abortion.

For more information on all these methods, see the chapter on “Family Planning.”

  • Natural methods (mucus and counting days): These methods do not work until your normal monthly bleeding returns.
wet mucus stretched between a thumb and finger
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