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Recovery from an Abortion

For optimal physical recovery after a surgical abortion it is strongly advised to:

Drink lots of fluids during recovery

Stay off work for a few days if you can

Take vitamins, eat healthy food, and try to sleep

Take the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor right away, and for the full amount of days prescribed

No exercise for two weeks

No swimming or tub baths for 2 weeks

Don’t lift anything over 15 pounds for two weeks, don’t use anything vaginally for 2-4 weeks – no sex, no tampons, no douches etc

You can ovulate as soon as two weeks after an abortion, which means yes, you could get pregnant again within two weeks after an abortion

For women who had an abortion for maternal health reasons, or for a poor prenatal diagnosis, consult your doctor about birth control and future pregnancies

Physical Symptoms after or during abortion recovery that are cause for concern:

  • Fever over 100 degrees that doesn’t respond to medication – if a fever is present for 48 or more hours, over 100 degrees, call your doctor.
  • How much bleeding is normal?:
  • bleeding should be no heavier that a heavy flow period at worst.
  • small clots are ok, like a quarter or grape size.
  • bigger clots are a danger sign, like an apricot, orange or bigger
  • bleeding should stay the same or get lighter it should never get heavier – this is a possible danger sign.
  • bleeding lasts anywhere from 3 days to 5 weeks after the procedure.
  • Cramping and pain worse than normal heavy menstrual period – there will be some painful cramping, and soreness. If the pain is excessive, or doesn’t respond to pain medicine, call your doctor.
  • Discharge of tissue
  • Abdominal swelling and/or tenderness
  • Continued strong symptoms of pregnancy
  • Change in bowel or bladder habits, especially lack of bowel movements
  • Blood in stool or urine
  • Bleeding from IV sites (call ambulance!)
  • Dizziness, fainting, nausea
  • There is also a physical complication, called “Postabortal Syndrome” that refers to the blocking of the cervix by either tissue or clots immediately after the procedure, and this can be dangerous, as it does not allow the proper normal evacuation of the uterine comtents, and does not allow the uterus to return to normal size.

In the Weeks that follow:

The pregnancy hormones that your body generates to keep you pregnant start to dissipate after the pregnancy has been terminated. Depending on how far along in the pregnancy you were, and how sensitive you are to hormones, you may have pregnancy hormones still in your body for up to a year after an abortion. For the first 2-4 weeks recovery following the abortion, your hormones will make you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster ride. You may:

  1. Cry at the drop of a hat, and for no reason
  2. Still have problems with nausea
  3. Still have problems with tiredness and weakness
  4. May still feel slightly pregnant and swollen
  5. May still test weakly ‘positive’ on a pregnancy test
  6. May feel extremely depressed
  7. May have no appetite, and no desire for food
  8. May have trouble sleeping, or concentrating
  9. Some women are sensitive to pregnancy hormones, and this can cause depression, and even prolonged depression which may require a doctor’s treatment. If two months have passed since your abortion, and you are still having trouble with depression, you should seek out treatment from a doctor.