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Sex after an abortion is a highly individualized experience, but many women experience few changes. Some women do experience the abortion as traumatic or they have underlying medical conditions that can make a change in how sex is experienced. This tends to be a low percentage of the total women who have abortions. Factors that may predict trouble with sex after having an abortion may include negative feelings, underlying medical conditions, or complications from the procedure.
Some women feel forced or left without choices when they seek an abortion, and they may naturally be more likely to mourn a pregnancy they wanted to continue. This may make them feel emotionally challenged when it comes to the issue of resuming sex after an abortion. Others find the abortive process difficult and may harbor strong fears about their likelihood of getting pregnant again. They may avoid sex in order to avoid pregnancy.
These feelings need to be addressed because it’s unlikely that an environment of excessive worry or grieving will result in positive sexual experiences. When doctors state that women should wait two to four weeks after an abortion before resuming sex, this should be understood as a bare minimum. Women are encouraged to wait longer if they don’t feel ready. If a significant time has passed and a woman still feels unable to have sex, the problem becomes one that deserves attention. There are a number of excellent websites that deal with post-abortion trauma, and women can also seek guidance from therapists.
There are other reasons why sex after an abortion might pose challenges. Sometimes underlying medical conditions become more prominent after an abortion, and interfere with sexual activity. Complications from the procedure may also create sexual issues. Though medically rare, an abortion can cause things like blood clotting, scarring, or inflammation. In many other cases, problems arise when women do not wait the recommended two to four weeks after the procedure to engage in sexual intercourse.
After an abortion, the cervix is open and needs time to close. Sex or even using a tampon during this time may cause uterine infection. Infections aren’t always noticed at first but may surface later as conditions like pelvic inflammatory disorder (PID). PID can definitely affect comfort levels when engaging in sex. This is why it’s important to follow physician guidelines on refraining from sex after having an abortion for the stated time.
It’s natural for most women to experience some feelings of hesitancy or concern about sex after an abortion. Taking the time necessary to physically and emotionally recover is important. Women need to involve experts like doctors, if a past abortion has chronically interfered with sexual activity or if they have any physical symptoms, such as pain during intercourse, that suggest complications from the procedure.
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