The basic self-care after an abortion

The basic self-care after an abortion

When a doctor suggests an abortion, he considers it the safest procedure for your health that reduces the risks for the future. But many women are unaware of the aftercare of an abortion. It is necessary to know the basics and plan the self-care after an abortion.

What happens after an abortion?

Normally, 1 in 4 women goes through abortion before crossing the age of 45 years. Depending upon the reason, a doctor may recommend different methods of abortion to every woman. Two most common methods of abortion are as follows

  • The pill-induced abortion
  • vacuum aspiration
  • dilation and evacuation (D&E)

irrespective of which method is used, mostly women experience same symptoms by the end. But if the abortion is done in mature pregnancy, after the second trimester, the symptoms are severe.

Normally, all women experience the following symptoms after an abortion.

  • bleeding or spotting for 3 weeks but some women experience minimum bleeding
  • passing blood clots
  • cramping
  • swelling of breasts

The regular menstrual cycle is stabilized after 1-2 months. The flow of bleeding slowly regulates itself. It is normal for women to experience mood swings.

An abortion doesn’t complicate any future pregnancy. It is possible to start ovulation right before the first period.

What to do next?

The days after an abortion are usually hectic and stressful. It is normal to feel unwell and exhausted. Mild pain and cramps at lower belly often feel and it goes away on its own.

It is advised not to drive after an abortion. Usually, the doctor will recommend the patient to ask someone for a ride home from the clinic. They also advise avoiding doing anything that involves intense physical or emotional effort.

Women become more sensitive to infections after an abortion. It takes times for cervix to close itself after an abortion. During this time, a woman should follow these tips.

  • Use sanitary pads instead of tampons during periods.
  • Avoid penetrative sex for 1-2 weeks
  • Avoid swimming especially in public pools for a few weeks

Do the following as a part of your self-care regime.

  • Massaging your stomach and back lightly to heal the cramps
  • Use heat or cold compressed pads for pain
  • Do not use antibiotics on your own, only use the prescribed medicines
  • use ibuprofen for pain
  • check yourself daily for any drastic temperature change
  • attend the follow-up appointments with your doctor to make sure that you are healing

How much time does it take to recover?

The recovery time after an abortion varies in each case. The first trimester abortions without any complications take less time to heal. Late term abortions take more time to heal the body. In case of any complications, patients are also sometimes hospitalized for complete recovery. It takes a few weeks for internal healing.

When should you see a doctor?

Almost every abortion clinics provide a 24-hour timeline after an abortion. It is to check if the woman develops any problem that needs treatment or not. Call the doctor if you experience any of the following.

Extreme bleeding i.e. soaking more than one pad every hour

Passing blood clots that are extremely big in size

  • feeling dizzy
  • stress and depression
  • allergic reaction
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever
  • foul smell from vagina
  • intense pain and cramps 

The final word

Abortion is a straightforward medical procedure that has no serious or long-term complications. But for some woman, it may bring long-term effects. An abortion doesn’t interrupt with a woman’s chances to conceive in later years.

Abortion is a difficult decision that may bring lots of emotional stress. The best is to speak with the doctor about what are you feeling. a counseling session with a doctor usually helps and determines the follow-up steps for the patients.

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The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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