POST ABORTION RECOVERY

Many women have concerns about their health following an abortion. It is important to understand what symptoms to expect and how to take care of yourself after an abortion. Your doctor or clinic should provide you with specific abortion after-care instructions.

Taking Care Of Yourself After An Abortion

  • Drink water and healthy fluids.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects for at least one week.
  • Take any antibiotics you were given for the full number of days prescribed.
  • Avoid vaginal insertions for at least two weeks, including sex and tampons.

Call your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms you are having.

Complications & Warning Signs

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after an abortion:

  • Heavy bleeding or passing large clots (larger than golf ball size).
  • Bleeding that lasts more than 14 days.
  • Fever over 100 degrees.
  • Abdominal pain that is worse than a normal period.
  • Signs of infection such as achiness and general feeling of illness.
  • Vomiting that lasts more than 4 hours.
  • Sudden abdominal swelling or rapid heart rate.
  • Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
  • Pain, redness or swelling in the genital area.

If you have any of the above after an abortion, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Physical Effects

Your doctor or clinic should provide you with specific abortion after-care instructions.  Most women experience some of the following after an abortion:

  • Bleeding – on average bleeding lasts 14 days but can last up to 21 days. 1
  • Cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea/Vomiting

These symptoms typically resolve within a week but may take longer. If symptoms persist or become severe, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

One of the most common complications associated with abortion is infection. This can be caused by incomplete abortion or exposure to bacteria vaginally, such as by having sex too soon. You can reduce the risk of infection by waiting to have sex and using pads instead of tampons.

Symptoms of infections include strong-smelling vaginal discharge, fever, and severe pelvic pain. Untreated infections can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, so call your doctor for treatment as soon as you notice symptoms.

Other potential complications that a woman may experience after an abortion include:

  • Incomplete or failed abortion, in which the fetus is still viable or was not fully evacuated from the womb. This can cause serious medical complications.
  • Uterine perforation, which has symptoms of severe abdominal pain, bleeding, and fever.
  • Septic shock, which has symptoms that include fever, chills, abdominal pain, and low blood pressure.
  • Some symptoms can indicate an emergency complication stemming from your abortion. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical care:
    • fever
    • excessively heavy bleeding (as discussed above)
    • strong-smelling vaginal discharge
    • chills
  • severe abdominal pain

Sex After Abortion

After both types of abortion procedures, it’s typically advised that you wait about two weeks before having sex or inserting anything vaginally. This reduces the risk of serious infections and is an important part of post-abortion care.

If you have unprotected sex following an abortion, call your doctor or local clinic and ask what measures you can take to prevent pregnancy.

If you suddenly experience sharp pain during sex after an abortion, call your local clinic for advice. If they believe it’s not an emergency, they may still schedule you for a follow-up.

Emotional Effects

After both types of abortion procedures, it’s typically advised that you wait about two weeks before having sex or inserting anything vaginally. This reduces the risk of serious infections and is an important part of post-abortion care.

If you have unprotected sex following an abortion, call your doctor or local clinic and ask what measures you can take to prevent pregnancy.

If you suddenly experience sharp pain during sex after an abortion, call your local clinic for advice. If they believe it’s not an emergency, they may still schedule you for a follow-up.

After Abortion Support

You made the decision you thought was best.  But now it seems to be hurting you more than you ever thought possible and causing unexplained emotions.  If abortion has left you broken, we can help you discover peace and healing.  We offer post-abortion support through our Relationship Center.  You will be able to freely discuss your abortion experience in a non-judgmental confidential and safe atmosphere. Individual one-on-one sessions with our trained and experienced staff are available at NO COST to you.  Appointments are available Monday – Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00 pm to help you begin healing emotionally after an abortion. Please call 770-382-7224 or visit http://bartowrelationships.com/relationship-center/ for more information.

Reversal Options

If you have taken the first dose of the pill and are experiencing doubts about your abortion, it may be possible to reverse your abortion.4 Every hour since your first dose of the abortion pill matters, so it’s important to call the Abortion Reversal Hotline at 877-558-0333 or an OB provider as soon as possible.

Citations

1  Davis A, Westhoff C, De Nonno L (2000). Bleeding patterns after early abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol or manual vacuum aspiration. J Am Med Womens Assoc 55(3 Suppl):141-4; Harwood B, Meckstroth KR, Mishell Dr, Jain JK (2001). Serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin levels and endometrial thickness after medical abortion. Contraception 63(4):255-6.

2  Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder E (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J Child Psychol Psyc 47(1):16-24.

3 Coyle CT, Coleman PK, Rue VM (2010). Inadequate preabortion counseling and decision conflict as predictors of subsequent relationship difficulties and psychological stress in men and women. Traumatology 16(1):16-30.

4 Abortion Option Information adapted from:
http://www.abortionpillreversal.com