Abortion side effects and the risks : 4 signs that you should see a doctor
This article was originally published in 2019 and has since been updated.
Choosing to have an abortion should not be at the risk of your health. Illegal abortion providers are unqualified, work in unsafe environments, use unverifiable medication, do not know your health history, and put your life in immediate danger. It’s therefor important that you choose a legal abortion service provider that will provide a safe procedure.
Self-care after an abortion will ensure that your body returns to its normal, healthy functions. Look-out for symptoms after the procedure to make sure you’re well on track to recovery.
Common Side effects
Both medical and surgical abortions are generally considered to be safe, when conducted by a licenced practitioner. Normal side effects you may notice after an abortion include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sore breasts
Serious complications to watch out for include:
Very heavy bleeding
It’s normal to experience bleeding after an abortion. However, heavy bleeding is unusual, and may be a cause for concern. Should you find yourself soaking through two maxi pads in a two-hour period, contact your doctor.
You should also visit your doctor if you notice large clots of blood or begin to feel light-headed. Sometimes, excessive bleeding occurs when there is an infection – where you have a uterine injury, or if some pregnancy tissue remains in the womb.
Excessive discomfort or pain
If you experience non-stop or severe pelvic pain, it is most likely an indication that something has gone wrong after the procedure. If the pain persists even after having taken pain medication, get in touch with your doctor.
This persistent, unbearable pain may be the result of an infection to the womb and it’s of great important to mention this to your doctor early on so that treatment can be administered.
Having a temperature
A fever can indicate an emergency complication stemming from your abortion. Check your temperature over a period, if yours remains over 38 degrees Celsius for several hours, or is accompanied by pain, contact your healthcare provider.
You may not have a thermometer, but some signs you might have a fever include:
- Forehead may feel extremely hot
- Soreness and aching
- Weak muscles
Continued signs of pregnancy
If you continue to have pregnancy-type symptoms for longer than two weeks after your procedure – like sore breasts, nausea, and/or bloating – chat to your healthcare provider. Bear in mind that even after a successful abortion, a home pregnancy test may indicate that you’re still pregnant. This may be due to the hormones that remain in your body for up to six weeks after the termination.
Avoid illegal abortion providers at all costs – your health is worth more. If you have questions about these procedures or want to discuss your options, contact Marie Stopes, an approved, legal abortion provider in South Africa. Learn more about our safe abortion procedure or make an appointment online to come in and chat to us in a private, safe and non-judgemental environment.
Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)
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