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Hi Dr,

I am very concerned and worried at the moment. I had a medical termination 6 weeks ago today on 9th February. Last Tuesday evening I started to have brown discharge with some very light bleeding getting heavier and lighter at different times. This lasted for 3 day's. On Friday last (20th March) I passed a large lump of tissue and later that night I had a long and heavy bleed.

My concern is this. Normally at the start of my period I experience brown discharge and so I started to take the pill on the day this started assuming my period was resuming. My partner and I had intercourse since and as the packet says that I would be protected straight away if I take it on the first day of my cycle we did not use any other method of contraception. I continued to bleed very lightly until today.

I now realise, after finding this website, that what I passed was a decidua and not my period and thus my contraceptive pill might not work. I'm so worried about being pregnant. What are the chances or this and could what I experienced be a period along with the expulsion of the decidua?

Thank you for any help of advise on this matter

Hello, Rosie,

The length of time before fertility after an abortion varies quite a bit from one time to the next. By "medical termination" I assume you meant you took pills. The way a woman's body will react to the pills is totally unpredictable. A woman should be prepared for unexpected bleeding at any time for weeks afterwards, and if there is any material left, a woman WILL bleed at some point.

It is very unwise to have intercourse while you are actually bleeding or discharging because it means your cervix is open, and it is much easier to contract an infection. You have indicated you are not married. If your partner has ever had sex with anyone else who had a sexually transmitted disease, you are vulnerable particularly when your cervix is open. And using the birth control pill makes you MORE susceptible because it changes the pH of the fluids in your body to a value that allows harmful organisms to thrive better. As long as you are not in a position to have a child, and you are not married, it is not in your best interest medically to have sex anyway. You alone bear the medical consequences of abortion.

In my opinion, the greatest worry at this moment is not pregnancy, but infection.

I would recommend you test for pregnancy immediately. Let me know how many days it has been since you had intercourse. If your pregnancy test is positive, then you won't have been fertile yet, but it is leftover hormones from the pregnancy you already had. Generally speaking. I know of two cases where a woman conceived a second time while pregnant. But this is rare as far as I can tell, though because doctors often take action in these types of circumstances, we don't really know HOW rare it might be. Also, did you observe any clear, slippery mucus at any time during the last few days? Or was it simply brown discharge of the sort you might have before a period? Another reason for not having sex while your cervix is open (and you are having any kind of discharge whatsoever), is that without fertile mucus, you won't get pregnant. And fertile mucus is another form of discharge, and indicates the cervix is open.

You deserve to live without fear of pregnancy. As long as your partner continues to have sex with you, you will live in fear. I am sure you are aware birth control pills are not completely foolproof, and they tend to be less reliable when the couple isn't married. So please think about what you are doing. You have several options. You can get married, if you truly love each other and are willing to make that commitment. You can practice abstinence. You can decide together that you will accept any child you conceive. Or you can continue to live in fear. It is up to you.

Please take good care of yourself. Don't take any more pills. They can kill you, seriously harm you, or kill or seriously harm your future children. You deserve better. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have, and keep me informed of how you are doing.


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Pat G


I can help women with the consideration of their decision, and with resources, and I can share my own experiences as the mother of seven and grandmother of eleven. My approach is to show love and concern, and help women work through the issues, emotional, spiritual, practical. I also help women deal with boyfriend and family issues. I am not a doctor, but I have done extensive medical research, so I may be able to help with information. I am female. When you write, if you are or were pregnant, please tell me how far along you were or are, and if you have had an abortion, please tell me what kind. Thank you.


I have been working with women who are considering abortion for several years. I also work with women who have had abortions. Our family has also experienced adoption, so I can talk about that as well.

I am mostly self-taught. I also studied midwifery for awhile. I have spent years doing research on this topic. In fact, I have been doing research and working in this area since the early 1970's. I have been helping women online for a few years, under the guidance of a woman who was formally training in counseling.

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