Abortion Recovery And How To Care For Yourself

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Recovery after your abortion procedure is very important in order to heal physically and emotionally. Abortion recovery times vary for each person and there is no one-size-fits-all timeline. Some women choose not to experience feelings of sadness or guilt over the decision, while others may find themselves struggling with depression. The most important thing is that you trust yourself.

This guide on abortion aftercare offers straightforward information on how to do just that. Here are the main things to keep in mind after an abortion has been performed in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

4 Essential tips for a quick recovery

  • Eat well and drink lots of fluids:- Take plenty lots of fluids and eat nutritious food. If possible take some time off work so you may get enough rest.
  • Avoid strenuous activities:- Avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks after the procedure. This includes any physical activity that makes you breathe hard or leaves you out of breath, like running or strenuous housework.
  • Take your medications as prescribed:- All medication provided by the abortion clinic must be taken. if you continue experiencing painful period pains, you can buy over the counter abdominal pain medication of use a warm water bottle.  
  • Bathing and Self hygiene:- To reduce getting infections avoid sitting in soapy water, using tampons, or having penetrative sex

When to seek medical attention

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Cramping, although a common side effect of taking Plan C, can be quite severe and more intense than the cramping experienced during the monthly menstrual cycle. It can be an uncomfortable and painful experience. Fortunately, there is a way to alleviate the discomfort to some extent by taking over-the-counter ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin. Taking one ibuprofen tablet about an hour before your first dose of misoprostol can help make the cramping less severe. This step may make the subsequent process a bit more comfortable to endure. If you still experience cramping after the first dose, you can continue taking ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours as needed after taking Plan C. In summary, by following these steps, you can make the cramping more manageable and less severe, allowing you to focus on other things without the distraction of undue discomfort.


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In rare cases, some women bleed more than normal after an abortion.  The best way to tell
if you are bleeding excessively is by counting the number of pads you change each hour. Call the office f you soak more than two maxi pads in one hour for two hours, or if you pass large clots or feel dizzy and light-headed—these  are signs that you are experiencing excessive blood loss.
Uterine cramping is normal after any type of abortion.  The main way that your uterus controls bleeding is by contracting, squeezing the blood vessels shut.  Heavy bleeding can happen if your uterus relaxes too much (uterine atony), which can be treated with medication, or if some pregnancy related tissue is retained in the uterus (incomplete abortion). 
Very rarely, excessive bleeding can be from a uterine injury (perforation) that occurred during the abortion.


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Severe and persistent pelvic pain is not normal after an abortion. Please contact the office if you have persistent, severe pelvic or abdominal pain after taking pain medication (acetominophen, ibuprofen, naproxen).  
The most common cause of pain after an abortion, is a bacterial infection.  Most infections are mild and can be treated with oral antibiotics.  Post procedure pain or persistent pain after a medical abortion clinic, can be caused by retained fetal or placental tissue, or blood clots.  If the tissue or clots do not pass vaginally, you may need medication (oral misoprostol) or a vacuum aspiration (suction curettage) to empty the uterus.  This will relieve the pelvic pain.
In rare cases, pain may indicate an ectopic pregnancy, when an embryo is implanted outside the uterus, most often in a fallopian tube.  A growing ectopic pregnancy can stretch and rupture the fallopian tube, causing severe pain and heavy abdominal bleeding.  An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical attention (it is diagnosed by clinical symptoms, blood test results, a physical exam and a pelvic ultrasound), and is treated by medication (methotrexate injection) or by surgery.

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If you have a persistent fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above for more than two hours, you may have an infection.  Misoprostol can cause a short term fever.  However, if you have a persistent fever for several hours, or if you have severe pain, contact our office.  


Continuing signs of pregnancy


Symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue or breast tenderness usually resolve within a week or two after an abortion.  If these symptoms perist, you may still be pregnant and should visit our office for a consultation with  a pelvic sonogram.
Taking a home pregnancy test is not helpful, because you can continue to test positive for 4 to 6 weeks after an abortion, due to pregnancy hormones the are still in your body. Also, if you began using a hormone based birth control (the Pill, patch or vaginal ring) right after the abortion, be aware that these contraceptives can cause pregnancy-like symptoms, especially during the first months of use.

Unless you are experiencing complications related to the procedure, you do not need to visit our office again. We recommend that you make an appointment to see your regular doctor for an annual pap smear, physical or gynecologic exam and birth control refill requests.

  • Continuous bleeding:-  Changing more than 2 pads fully soaked with blood within an hour.
  • Severe cramping:- Cramping is normal and it is a sign of the womb contacting and getting back in shape. But if you take pain medication and still see no difference contact the women’s abortion clinic immediately.  
  • Body Temperature:- A high body temperature above 101° F that’s not normal as well.
  • Pregnancy signs:- After a week if you still experience pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, morning sickness etc. 
  • Discharge:- A smelly vaginal discharge might indicate signs of infections. 

How to emotionally care for yourself

Terminating a pregnancy is a very emotionally and challenging experience. After the abortion procedure change in hormonal imbalance can cause mood changes because after an abortion, a person’s progesterone and estrogen levels gradually decrease. You may want to speak with a mental health professional to help work through any feelings of guilt or shame that may come up during this time.

  • Get Counselling
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Seek out support groups to help you talk about your own experience.

When to seek medical attention

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There are a few times where you should contact your healthcare provider after using Plan C. The following are potential signs of more serious complications:

  • Very heavy bleeding: While bleeding after Plan C is heavier than a typical period, there is such a thing as too much bleeding. If you’re bleeding through two or more pads within an hour, this is too heavy.

  • A high fever: While a fever is a possible side effect of Plan C, it should go down if you take ibuprofen. If you have a temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) that doesn’t go down with medication and lasts for more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol, this could be a sign of an infection.

  • A change in your blood’s color or odor: Although your bleeding will most likely be heavy and you may pass clots, it should have the same color and smell as what you experience with your regular monthly bleeding. Unusual color changes or a foul odor are signs of a possible infection.

  • Severe pain that doesn’t go away: The pain experienced after taking Plan C may be intense, but it should get better after taking ibuprofen. Pain should also ease after the first 24 to 48 hours. If your pain is severe and isn’t relieved by ibuprofen, or if it doesn’t get better after 1 to 2 days, let your healthcare provider know.

  • Signs of an allergic reaction: While uncommon, allergies to Plan C medications are possible. Let your provider know if you notice a rash, itchiness, or hives after taking your medication. Call 911 if you notice trouble breathing or swelling of the face, throat, or tongue.

If any of the above symptoms happen after using Plan C, contact your provider as soon as possible.

Wishing you a quick abortion recovery!

We encourage you to schedule future sexual and reproductive health care appointments, including contraception counseling, cervical cancer screening, STI screening and treatment,

If a you or a friend in need needs to have an abortion refer them to our website

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