Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, usually done medically, due to some unfortunate circumstances and situations. It is a very difficult decision for any woman to take, taking a toll on both the body and the mind. Whatever may be your reason to get an abortion, there are certain things you should know about the process and the after-care to be fully prepared for it. If you do not heal properly and suffer from long term side-effects of abortion, it can not only be a traumatic experience but also adversely influence any future pregnancies.
Therefore, abortion aftercare is vital for women going through such hard times. To let you know more about the various aspects of post-abortion care, we have covered all the doubts and relevant questions you might have before going forward.
What should you expect after an abortion?
For a normal case, abortion is usually done by either taking abortion pills or through surgical methods. Sometimes, women also get surgical assistance to make sure that an unfortunate miscarriage does not cause further problems by leaving remains in your uterus. There are also cases where there are complications with pregnancy like having an ectopic pregnancy, that leave you no choice but to abort. However, most women have similar experiences after going through any of these methods of abortion. So, here are some of the things that you can expect to tackle after going through abortion:
- Bleeding and spotting for the next couple of weeks.
- Passing small blood clots.
- Stomach pain and cramps that are similar to the ones that happen during menstruation.
- Swollen and tender breasts that can be sore and painful too.
- Your hormones change during pregnancy and will change again after an abortion, making you experience mood swings.
The human body is very resilient and after healing for some time, you can expect your menstrual cycle to get back on track. Although your first period may happen in 4-8 weeks post-abortion, the flow of bleeding will probably return to its original pattern during second period after abortion. The start of your ovulation will also determine the chances of getting pregnant again in the future.
Basic post-abortion care
While there are some intensive care methods that will be mentioned later on, you first have to focus on returning to your everyday routines. Taking care of yourself in small ways regularly is as important as getting any professional medical help. So here are some things that you should do in your daily routine in your recovery period after abortion:
- Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated at all times.
- Enjoy proper rest and take a few days off work if you have to.
- Give your body the time and the means to heal by sleeping, eating healthy foods and taking any nutritional supplements that you need.
- If the doctor has prescribed any medication and antibiotics, follow the proper dosage strictly.
- Avoid any exercises, swimming and other sports for two weeks.
- It is best to use the shower instead of any tub baths for these weeks as well.
- Avoid lifting very heavy objects, either during exercises or as part of household chores.
- Do not have any object near or inside your vagina, this includes tampons, vaginal douches and sex. Maintaining basic hygiene of your intimate areas also prevents infection after abortion.
- Get to know more about your current conditions from the doctor along with the possibility for future pregnancies, your fertility and birth control.
- Take care of your physical and mental health with all the support from family, friends or professionals.
Whether you took pills for abortion or underwent surgery for it, in both the cases, the recovery period after abortion does require dedicated care and attention.
Should you worry about bleeding in the recovery period after abortion?
Vaginal bleeding after abortion is normal and happens to a lot of women. Therefore, if you have light or heavy spotting, it is not a cause for too much worry. In fact, passing blood clots are a sign of your body ensuring that no parts of the previous pregnancy are remaining in the body after it is terminated.
However, it is a problem if the clots are large in size, almost as big as a golf ball, and continue to pass for more than an hour. In this case, let your doctor know and get the required help as soon as possible.
You can identify the problematic heavy bleeding when you have to use two or more maxi pads in an hour. It can even be noted that generally heavy bleeding for more than 12 hours is a definite sign of trouble. Another sure symptom for trouble is if the blood is a brighter red after a day of abortion rather than a darker colour accompanied by stabbing-like pain in the abdomen.
How to relieve pain during abortion aftercare?
There are many methods of pain relief that you can do on your own and at home without too much hassle. Many of you are comfortable with taking medications for it, while others are not that fond of taking tablets, we have got the answers for both of you. Take a look at the list below to know some simple solutions to avoid pain as one of the long term side effects of abortion:
- Massage your abdomen to ease the cramping and also to help uterine tissue to pass more easily. You can combine this with occasional massage of your back as well.
- As many of you have already known from previous period experiences, heat works well in relaxing muscle pains and cramps. Heat pads or hot water bottles work wonders in reducing the pain after an abortion too.
- Sometimes, you body can contract an infection after abortion, often causing symptoms of fever and pain. Therefore, it is important to regularly monitor your body temperature and get help from a doctor if you have definitive symptoms.
- After consulting your doctor, take any pain-relieving medicines that they recommend for you if you are suffering too much. Just make sure that you are not self-medicating without getting the go-ahead from your gynaecologist.
Although most of you would find some comfort from the above-mentioned tips, it is still important to not skip out on the necessary follow-up visits to the doctor. This will ensure that your abortion is complete, there are no long term side-effects of abortion and no signs of any potential trouble are overlooked until it is too late.
The recovery period after abortion is usually a quiet and simple one for most women as they do not suffer from too many problems, it is a clean medical procedure without lasting adverse consequences. Most of you won’t even face troubles in any future pregnancies if you choose to have children later on. But the norm is never free of outliers and cases of troubles do crop up. So, if you have any other abnormal symptoms like fainting, too heavy bleeding, fever or getting an infection after abortion; contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Not only this time is meant for taking the best care of your body, but it is also a time to find mental well being after an emotionally challenging time. Do not ignore the need to deal with the multitudes of feelings like relief, guilt, remorse, shame, frustration, grief and even anger. The reasons for abortion and the process itself can take a toll on you, talk to family, close confidants and professionals if you need to. You deserve the love and support that everyone has to offer and you deserve to be a healthy, happy individual moving forward in life.