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How to care for yourself after a medication abortion
It’s vital that you take good care of your physical and emotional wellbeing after an abortion. Plenty of rest is key to recovery.
It’s typical for women to experience the following symptoms after an abortion:
- Passing small to medium–sized blood clots
- although some women do not bleed at all, it is possible for women to bleed or for 3 to 6 weeks
- Painful or swollen breasts
- A slightly heavier flow during menstruation
These symptoms are manageable. Speak to your doctor about treatment options.
Your menstrual cycle should return to normal four to eight weeks after the abortion procedure. It’s possible that you may experience a mix of emotions, including mood swings; several factors can have an influence: remember that your pregnancy hormones have undergone a lot and need to return to normal.
Did you know that it is possible to become pregnant after an abortion very quickly? Ovulation will occur before your first period. Therefore, it’s important to use birth control or abstain from sex to avoid falling pregnant again.
Self-care tips after an abortion
- Ensure that you get plenty of rest to help your body recover; it will also lessen the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects.
- Don’t do anything that is emotionally or physically taxing.
After a medical abortion, you are more prone to getting an infection because it will take a while for your cervix to close. So, you need to reduce the risk as much as possible. You should avoid
- Using tampons until your next period. Instead, use sanitary pads if there’s any bleeding
- Wait at least one to two weeks before having penetrative sex or inserting anything into your vagina.
- Don’t use a swimming pool for one to two weeks
- You can alleviate cramping by massaging your stomach. You can also apply heat to your stomach or back.
- Take any medication that the doctor prescribes, such as pain medication or antibiotics.
- Try using over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers, such as ibuprofen. If the pain is unbearable, it’s essential that you seek medical advice.
- Be sure to check your temperature every day for one week; a fever could indicate that you have an infection.
- Make sure that you attend follow-up appointments after a few weeks to make sure that the abortion was complete and that your uterus is healing.
If you need any more information, you can visit your nearest reputable women’s healthcare clinic. The staff will be able to answer your questions and help you with anything else that you may need associated with post-abortion care.
Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)
You can expect intermittent mild to severe cramps whether you choose the medical process (often called the abortion pill) or procedure (a minor same-day procedure). However, the pain can be managed by medication.
The cost of our services varies according to:
- the location of the Marie Stopes centre you choose
- the stage of your pregnancy
- the method you choose (medical process or procedure)
Please contact us for more information.
Yes. Neither abortion method will prevent you from getting pregnant in the future.
- The abortion pill is 98 – 99 percent effective.
- The procedure is 99 percent effective.
You will take two pills. The first pill is commonly known as the abortion pill (mifepristone). It stops the ovaries from producing the hormone, progesterone – which is needed for pregnancy. The second pill, called misoprostol, needs to be taken 6 – 48 hours after taking the first pill. It causes cramping and bleeding which empties your uterus.
A doctor will stretch your uterus and insert a hollow tube, removing the lining of the uterus through aspiration of the tissue.
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sore breasts
- Light vaginal bleeding
Emergency complications can include:
- Excessive heavy bleeding
- Strong-smelling vaginal discharge
- Severe abdominal pain
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