Abortion Aftercare


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While you may feel glad that the abortion is over, you still have to be careful until your body heals both physically and emotionally.

After you have had an abortion you may be given an information sheet to take home.  This details what is normal and what you should be concerned about.  It is important to read the information carefully.  If you are unsure of anything that you experience you can contact the clinic you attended or see your GP.  Private Clinics usually offer provide 24 hour advice support lines that you can contact if you are worried or concerned about anything.

Before you leave the clinic you will be checked by a member of staff to make sure that you are not experiencing anything unusual.  You are then advised to go home and rest.  Some women may feel they need a few days to recover whereas others want to get back to normal as soon as possible to go back to work straight away.  How you feel very much depends on you and you must do what you feel is right.  Don’t feel pressurised to go back to work too early.

You may feel some pain and discomfort but over the counter painkillers should be enough to ease this.

You will have some vaginal bleeding for around two weeks after your abortion and you should use sanitary towels rather than tampons to reduce the risk of infection.  You may also find that your period comes slightly earlier or later than usual.

You should wait until the bleeding has stopped before considering having sexual intercourse.  Remember you will be very fertile after having a termination and can get pregnant right away so you should take precautions to prevent another unwanted pregnancy.

Causes for Concern

If the vaginal bleeding is heavy enough to soak two or three sanitary towels over a short space of time or if the bleeding doesn’t seem to be getting lighter you should either contact the clinic you attended or see your GP. 

Initially you may experience clots in the bleeding but if you find that you are experiencing a lot of clots regularly you should also seek medical help.

Warning Signs after an Abortion

Having a raised temperature, experiencing severe pain or cramping, unusual vaginal discharge and if you are experiencing sickness or breast tenderness few weeks after an abortion, may be signs of you having an infection.  Not treating an infection can cause other health issues and may even lead to future infertility.

If you were later on in your pregnancy you may find that your breasts may leak a little after an abortion.

Abortion Aftercare Do’s

  • Use sanitary towels rather than tampons
  • Take contraception immediately as you will be at your most fertile after having an abortion
  • Take regular over the counter painkillers
  • Complete the full course of antibiotics if you have been given them to ensure any infection is completely cleared.  Leaving an infection untreated can cause serious medical complications and infertility
  • Rest and take it easy - take your recovery at your own pace
  • Make use of the counselling and advice services offered
  • Follow the aftercare information you have been given

Abortion Aftercare Don’ts

  • Have sexual intercourse straight away.  You are advised to wait at least two weeks after the abortion and until the bleeding has stopped
  • Don’t rush going back to work
  • Avoid heavy lifting or other physically challenging activity
  • Don’t drive for at least 48 hours if you have had a general anaesthetic
  • It is advisable to wait as long as you can before having a cigarette after having a general anaesthetic as it may make you feel faint

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