Infection after Abortion

Most abortions are straightforward and many women have no adverse reactions or side effects after having one.  Abortions can be quick and simple so that you may even fell well enough to go back to work the next day.  For some women though there may be complications during the procedure or, most commonly, you may get an infection.

An infection can result in something that was there prior to the abortion or something that has happened afterwards.  It is really important to know what the signs of infection are, what to do and when to seek medical help.

Signs of an infection:

  • A raised temperature
  • Heavy bleeding with regular passing of clots
  • Severe pain and discomfort in your abdomen
  • Unusual or smelly vaginal discharge
  • Sickness

If you are experiencing any of these signs you should contact the clinic you attended or your GP immediately.  They will prescribe you antibiotics to clear the infection.  If you are given antibiotics it is important to take the full course as prescribed to make sure the infection is completely cleared.  If you leave an infection untreated you increase your risk of further complications and these can be quite serious. 

The main risk of untreated infections is the chance of having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease causes inflammation and infection of the reproductive system including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, womb and lining of the abdomen.  If the infection is left untreated it can lead to a future ectopic pregnancy or infertility.

The best way to reduce the risk of getting an infection is to follow the advice and guidance offered to you by the clinic.  They will always send you home with information so you can check that what you are experiencing is normal and what to do if it is not.

The main advice to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid using tampons and only use sanitary towels after an abortion and avoid having sex until the vaginal bleeding has stopped or at least two weeks after an abortion.  While there is no firm evidence that this can reduce the risk of infection you are recommended not to swim for two weeks after an abortion.

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