All You Need To Know About: Post-Abortion
Abortions can be an emotionally and physically tiring time for many women.
Since the body goes through incredible changes during this period, it is important to keep certain things in mind to ensure good health after abortion.
What to expect:
While some women don’t experience any bleeding, others may notice a light, medium, or heavy flow. It may start a few days after a procedure or immediately afterwards, so it is advised to keep some pads at hand. The normal period, however, usually starts 3-6 weeks after the procedure unless you’re on a birth control pill.
Since the bleeding may continue for a few days, cramps much akin to those on the menstrual cycle are common.
As the pregnancy hormones leave the body, it is also normal to notice mood swings or even sadness in your emotional state. This is because the pregnancy hormones are slowly leaving the body. This can last anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
Morning sickness tends to disappear in 2 days, while breast changes will revert back within the first week – unless you’re on the pill. If you do notice a watery discharge from the breasts, as do some women, don’t massage them. Instead, wear a tight sports bra.
Things to do:
In order to help your body recover from the procedure, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids, rest as much as possible, take vitamins regularly, eat plenty, and take the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
If you find that the emotional turmoil is too much to handle, approach a counselor at the soonest. Emotional health can contribute greatly to your physical recovery post any major procedure.
Despite following everything that is advised, it is essential to go for the two-week check-up. This allows the doctor to assess your health and well-being by ensuring that there is no infection. Moreover, this is also when the doctor will find out if the cervix has returned to its usual ‘closed’ state and confirm if the procedure was a success.
Things to Avoid:
There are some things that can hinder your recovery. These include physical and mental stress post-procedure. So take time off work for a few days if possible and avoid physical exertion of any kind.
There should be no penetration of the vagina for at least 2-4 weeks during this time. So douching, tampons, and sex should be put on hold. Since a woman can get pregnant immediately after the procedure, it is essential that intercourse be avoided.
Bathtubs and swimming are to be foregone as well for at least two weeks until the cervix is declared ‘closed’ by the doctor. Smoking is advised against as well, especially immediately after the procedure.
Red flags to look out for:
While most women recover uneventfully from an abortion within 2 weeks, it is essential that any unexpected hospitalization 30 days after the procedure be reported.
Furthermore, if there is cause for concern such as a persistent fever of over a 100 degrees, large blood clots (the size of melons), or blood in bodily discharge, get in touch with a medical professional immediately.
Health after abortion is comparatively more fragile, therefore the list of precautions must be adhered to diligently. By looking after yourself and reporting any uncertain changes in your body to the doctor, you will ensure that complications, if any, will be caught at the earliest, allowing you a smooth recovery.