birth control pills
Photo: Hilary Thomas

Starting Birth Control After an Abortion

By My Abortion Contributors | March 28, 2014

After you have an abortion, you can become fertile again very quickly. If you are sexually active with a man and don’t want to become pregnant again, use birth control. Most contraceptive methods can be started immediately following the abortion.

Your abortion provider can discuss with you the different types of contraception available and give you a prescription before you leave the clinic. 

Below are guidelines for when you can begin using specific methods of birth control.

If you have had a medication abortion (also called an abortion with pills)

Birth control method: birth control pills, patch, vaginal ring, implant, Depo-Provera
When to begin: Start on the day of misoprostol use, or within five days after. With heavy bleeding, you may wish to wait two to three days to use the vaginal ring.

Birth control method: IUD
When to begin: Start anytime after a follow-up visit confirming the passage of the pregnancy.

Birth control method: diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicides, condoms
When to begin: As soon as you resume vaginal intercourse.

Birth control method: fertility awareness method
When to begin: Wait three cycles to be sure your normal pattern has resumed, and use a backup method until then.

Birth control method: sterilization
When to begin: Anytime after you have made your decision.

After an aspiration abortion (also called a surgical abortion or in-clinic abortion) or a d&E or induction abortion

Birth control method: birth control pills, patch, vaginal ring, implant, Depo-Provera
When to begin: Start on the day of the abortion, or within five days after the abortion.

Birth control method: IUD
When to begin: Start immediately after the abortion or at a follow-up visit. Expulsion rate may be higher if IUD is inserted immediately after a second trimester abortion.

Birth control method: diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicides
When to begin: You can be fitted for a diaphragm immediately after a first trimester abortion. You can be fitted for a cap when you resume sexual intercourse. After a second-trimester abortion, wait four weeks to be fitted for either.

Birth control method: condoms
When to begin: As soon as you resume vaginal intercourse.

Birth control method: fertility awareness method
When to begin: Wait three cycles to be sure your normal pattern has resumed, and use a backup method until then.

Birth control method: sterilization 
When to begin: Anytime after you have made your decision.

To find out read about your options, see Where to Find Birth Control Information Online.