Post abortion care
Important aftercare information for surgical abortion patients. Everything you need to know about aftercare at home.
What to Expect
When the procedure is over, you should eat or drink anything you like as soon as you feel up to it. You may return to normal activities, but you should not "overdo it"-- avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting. Let us know if you need an excuse for work or school.
Post abortion problems are rare, but, as with all medical procedures, we are concerned about infection or too much bleeding. Please follow our instructions carefully. If you are having problems, please 1. re-read this information, 2. have available the number of a pharmacy that is open, and 3. then call us.
Bleeding and Cramping:
What is Normal Bleeding? Bleeding varies from woman to woman. You may bleed for a full two weeks or have no bleeding at all. For many women, the bleeding stops and starts for a few days at a time. There may even be spotting until your next period. You may also find that you pass some large blood clots and have mild to moderate, or even heavy cramping. All of this is normal.
What is Problem Bleeding? If your bleeding is more than 1 maxi-pad (full,
soaked through) in an hour, for two consecutive hours, you should take the
medicine we gave you to control bleeding. If you have many large clots for more
than a day, take the medicine we gave you. (See Medicine to Control Bleeding) If the one pill doesn’t stop the
heavy bleeding fill your prescription at a local pharmacy and take until your
bleeding has slowed. Call us if you are bleeding heavily beyond two weeks. Go
for your follow up exam whether you are bleeding or not.
If you have chosen a Medical Abortion with the abortion pill Mifeprex, please read the special instructions we gave you, as you may have much heavier bleeding than described above.
Medicine to Control Heavy Bleeding: Misoprostol, a medication to control bleeding is the same medication you took before the abortion. It can also help tone up the uterine muscle and slow bleeding. We gave you one pill of Misoprostol to be taken ONLY IF NEEDED and a prescription to fill if the first pill does not resolve the heavy bleeding. If you are bleeding heavier than your period, or saturating a pad an hour, take this pill and if you need it, have the prescription filled as soon as you can. Misoprostol is best dissolved in the cheek rather than swallowed to avoid vomiting or diarrhea. Remember, some clots and bleeding are normal. Saturating a pad an hour or passing many large clots in a day means you should take the Misoprostol.
Cramps and Pain Medication: Please be sure you have pain medication on hand. We encourage you to take pain medication at the first sign of cramps to control unnecessary pain. You should take either Ibuprofen (like Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) up to 800 mg (four 200 mg pills of any over-the-counter Ibuprofen product) every 4 to 6 hours. OR, take Aleve, two pills every 6-8 hours. Extra Strength Tylenol (2 tabs) every 4-6 hours can be substituted but we do not recommend aspirin.
Your Period: If you are not going on birth control pills or the 3 month “Depo” shot,
your first normal period should begin in about 4-6 weeks. The first period may
be heavier than before. If you have been given the Depo Provera shot you may
have bleeding off and on or your period may not come at all.
If you are not on a hormonal birth control, you can get pregnant again before your next period, so follow-up on your birth control plan. Do not have intercourse for 2 weeks. If you do not get a period after 6 weeks, please get a pregnancy test and call us. Please keep your follow-up appointment.
If you are going to use the birth control pill or patch, begin taking it on the SUNDAY after the abortion unless otherwise directed. You will get your period during the reminder pills or during the last week of the cycle. Continue taking them according to the instructions we give you (on the green sheet). You can start the Nuva Ring, a vaginal contraceptive ring, at the first period. Call during our regular hours if you don't get your period as expected.
Infection Precautions: Do’s and Don'ts
Because the cervix has been opened (dilated) you are at greater risk for infection. We want you to take some precautions for the next two weeks.
- Do not put anything in the vagina for two weeks.
- Do not have intercourse for the next two weeks.
- Do not use tampons for two weeks.
- Do not take tub baths, douche, or go swimming for the next two weeks. Showers and sponge baths are fine.
- You can resume your normal routine after two weeks as long as there are no problems.
your temperature each morning and evening for the next week or if you are
feeling flushed. If you don't have a thermometer please pick one up at the
pharmacy. (If you are taking pain medication, take your temperature before, or
4 hours after, taking pain medication to get an accurate reading.)
If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or more, call us immediately. Please read the thermometer accurately; if you have a digital thermometer check that it is working properly. If your temperature is more than 100 degrees, and you are experiencing abdominal tenderness, chills, etc., check your temperature every hour and drink lots of water/liquids. Call us if your fever ever reaches 100.4 degrees and we will order additional antibiotics.
Antibiotic Instructions: You already took an antibiotic (usually Doxycycline 100 mg) before the procedure. Unless you have a high fever you do not need any more antibiotics.
A follow-up exam is very
important to be sure you are completely healed and no longer pregnant. Keep
your appointment even if you are bleeding. Sensitive home pregnancy tests can
show positive for 2-3 weeks. At the follow-up exam you can continue or change
your birth control plan. If there is a post abortion problem call us
immediately and we will treat you at no extra charge.
There is no fee for your follow-up visit if you return here within 6 weeks. Make an appointment here or with your own doctor or clinic 2-3 weeks from your appointment here. We will give you a summary of your records if you are not returning here.
Call during office hours if
heavy bleeding continues more than 2 weeks or if you don't get a period when
you should. If your nausea/morning sickness or pregnancy symptoms do not go
away within a few days, call us during office hours.
Some women may have some breast discharge. If this happens to you, do not stimulate breasts, wear a tight bra even when sleeping, and apply cold packs for 10 minutes at a time.
Emotional Aftercare: Ending a pregnancy is an important decision and it is normal to have many feelings about it. If you find that you cannot seem to get back to your normal activities, or you feel sad or guilty and it’s not getting better, you may need further help. We can offer advice and referrals by appointment or over the phone. Support for you and your decision is very important; if someone opposes your decision, you may have more difficulty coping. Whatever you were feeling before your abortion will likely continue afterwards. If you are having problems in a relationship or with a family member, you should try to resolve that, perhaps with the help of a counselor. There is important information on coping after abortion on our website, www.AmyCousinsMD.com and also at www.pregnancyoptions.info. There are three talklines that might be helpful: Backline (888) 493-0092 or Exhale, (866) 439-4253, or Faith Aloud Clergy talkline, (888) 717-5010.
Post-abortion problems are rare but require prompt
medical attention. Please consult us before going to an emergency room; you may
incur unnecessary expense and/or treatment. We are the experts in this
procedure, please call us if you need us. Our # is 607 785-4171 or 1-800-676-9011
After office hours (9 am-5 pm weekdays) our answering service will take your name, phone number and symptoms. A staff member will get back to you within 10-30 minutes. If the service does not answer, wait a minute and call back. If no one gets back to you in 30 minutes, call the service again. Sorry, we can only take calls about post-abortion emergencies after office hours. Call during regular office hours about birth control problems, scheduling, emergency contraception, and other questions.
Having a Problem?
• Take your temperature.
• How many maxi-pads are you soaking in an hour?
• What pain medications have you taken? When?
• Have the number of a pharmacy that is open NOW.
• Call us at 1-800-676-9011 (607) 785-4171