You may bleed heavily, moderately, lightly or not at all, for one to three weeks after the abortion. Some women do not start to bleed until several days after the abortion, some stop bleeding and then start again, some pass clots with strong cramps for several days.
Donít be surprised if four to five days after the abortion you experience increased cramping or bleeding.
Your normal period should begin three to six weeks after the abortion, unless you are on birth control pills, Depo Provera (the shot) or have a Mirena.
Menstrual-like cramping pain is normal for the first week or two. Use Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Actiprofen) if needed. Aspirin (A.S.A., Entrophen) may increase bleeding.
Smoking cigarettes after the abortion can make you faint so we recommend you not smoke for three hours after the procedure.
If you had IV medication you are not to drive, operate hazardous equipment, or make major decisions, like signing legal papers, until 24 hours after the procedure.
Mood swings or emotional upset often accompanies the drop in pregnancy hormones and may last for a few days or even weeks. Morning sickness should disappear within two days and breast changes usually settle by the end of the first week but both may persist if you are on the birth control pill.
It is very unlikely but you may notice a milky discharge from your breasts after the abortion. Do not express the fluid; this will go away within two weeks.
Support persons can find information on how to support someone after an abortion here.
There are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of infection:
Wear pads for the first week if you are bleeding and avoid putting anything into your vagina if you can. This means no tampons, no vaginal sex and no tub baths. Showers are OK. Avoid swimming and hot tubs for one week.
During the second week you can have tub baths, have vaginal sex using condoms and insert tampons with clean fingers (but still use only pads at night).
Take the antibiotics you were given.
You must contact the clinic if you have any unexpected hospitalizations within 30 days of the procedure.
Two weeks after the abortion you should be feeling back to normal; if not call us for a follow-up appointment.
Do not do a pregnancy test afterwards as the pregnancy hormones leave the body slowly, a test can still be positive weeks after an abortion has removed the pregnancy.
Free post-abortion counselling is available at the clinic for those who feel it would be helpful. If you experience prolonged grieving, depression or emotional turmoil you may benefit from this counselling; there is no charge for this. To make an appointment for this call 604-322-6692 during normal clinic hours. There are also some good, pro-choice post-abortion resources on the internet including the
Peaceafterabortion.com website, the Exhale website, and a helpful pamphlet After your Abortion" from the Hope Medical Group in the US. Another resource online is A Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Resolution
After an Abortion. For spiritual issues, the pamplet Promoting Post-Abortion Spiritual Health may be helpful as well as the Faith Aloud website. If you would like an IUD inserted or if you need a six-week post-IUD insertion checkup call us to make an appointment for this.
NOTE: Please be aware it IS possible to get pregnant right after an abortion; you can conceive very soon afterwards.
We would like you to contact us two weeks after your appointment. Please use the following form to tell us how you are doing: