Are you about to terminate a pregnancy or have you just received an abortion? You may wonder what kind of symptoms you can expect after your abortion, and what after-care steps you should take.
Normal Post-Abortion Symptoms
After an abortion, you can expect:
- Bleeding, for a week or two following the abortion. This is not typically heavier than a menstrual period, though you can expect to pass more clots. Please use sanitary pads as opposed to tampons or reusable menstrual cups. Spotting may continue periodically up to your next period.
- Abdominal cramping and discomfort, for which you can use over-the-counter pain relievers such as inuprofen or Tylenol. Note that Aspirin can make your bleeding worse.
- Your pregnancy symptoms to subside completely within three to seven days.
- Your next period within the next four to six weeks. (If you don't get your period within six weeks, contact your healthcare provider.)
Should you soak two or more maxipads within an hour more than once, please contract your clinic or visit the emergency room. Women who experience pain so severe over the counter pain killers cannot manage it, those who have a fever, foul-odored smelly vaginal discharge or weirdly colored discharge, abdominal tenderness, or the feeling they are still pregnant even after three days (other than tender breasts, which take a little longer to normalize), should also contact their clinic or visit the emergency room.
Self-Care Measures Following Abortion
It is best to take it easy for the first few days; take some time off work to allow you to rest, if possible. Likewise, it is not recommended that you travel very far from the location where you received your treatment. If you have to, please make sure you are able to access adequate emergency care, should you need it. Another thing to avoid is heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity.
Women who have just had an abortion can shower and bathe as they normally would, except if they received general anesthesia for their procedure. In this case, you may feel a little shaky and having someone around to assist you if you need it is advisable.
Many women ask when they can resume sexual activity following an abortion. The answer is that you should abstain from sexual intercourse for one week in order to prevent infection. Generally, avoid inserting anything into your vagina for the same reason.
Your Follow-Up Visit
Whether you had a surgical or a medical abortion, it is normal for the clinic where you received your abortion to schedule a follow-up appointment two or three weeks after the procedure. During this appointment, your healthcare provider will examine you check how you are doing. You will also commonly be asked how you feel mentally.
Should you have any questions, or need emotional support, between your abortion and the follow up visit, your clinic will provide you with their opening hours and contact information, as well as usually making you aware of other services in your area.
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