Recovery Time After Abortion and Tips for Better Recovery

An abortion under the care of a licensed medical professional is a safe procedure. However, some women may experience certain side effects, such as light vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramps, fatigue, sore breasts, and nausea. If you are planning an abortion, you may wonder the recovery time after this procedure.

Recovery Time After Abortion

Every woman is different, so the recovery time may vary greatly. Many factors can have an impact, such as how many weeks pregnant you are at the time of abortion. Most women will take a few weeks to recover completely.

You may experience light bleeding after a surgical abortion, and it is not going to be heavier than your period. Expect your period to return to normal after 4-6 weeks after surgery.  You may also experience cramping after the procedure, but it will resolve on its own. 

Generally, you can return to work after a few days, but be sure to listen to your body and make sure that you are ready.

Tips for Better Recovery After Abortion

1. Avoid Sex After Abortion

To make the recovery time after abortion shorter, it is better to stay away from engaging in sexual intercourse for at least 2 weeks after your abortion in order to avoid becoming infected. Keep in mind that if you do have sex without contraception, you will be at risk of a new pregnancy. 

2. Take a Pregnancy Test

You should consider taking a pregnancy test about 4 weeks after the procedure. This is to confirm that the procedure was done properly and you are no longer pregnant. Be sure to call your doctor immediately if your pregnancy test is positive.

3. Use Contraception After Your Abortion

You should use it immediately after the procedure. If your doctor has prescribed the contraceptive pill, you should start it the day after your treatment. Do not wait for your bleed to go away – there is also no need to wait for your period to start taking the pill. You may also consider using other birth control methods, such as contraceptive injection, contraceptive implant, or coil.

4. Avoid a Bath After Abortion

You should avoid bathing at least for the first 24 hours after the procedure. While there is no medical reason to avoid taking a shower after your abortion, it is just to keep you safe because the medication can make you feel dizzy and weak. You can ask someone at your home to be around when you are taking your first shower after the procedure.

Avoid a bath in case you have heavy bleeding. Moreover, you should not use heavily scented products while washing your genital area. Do not douche for 2 weeks.

5. Avoid Exercise After Abortion

You should avoid exercise and strenuous physical activities for a couple of weeks after the procedure. Activities like horse riding, swimming, or any heavy physical work can make your bleeding become worse. Also avoid carrying young children soon after your abortion.

6. Stay Away from Alcohol After Abortion

To shorten your recovery time after abortion, do not consume alcohol for the first 48 hours following your abortion. Alcohol can make your bleeding worse and interact with antibiotics.

7. Be Ready to Deal with Leaking Breasts

Leaking breasts can happen because your body has been preparing itself for the pregnancy. Your enlarged breasts will take time to return to normal, and they may leak during this time. The issue may resolve in a couple of weeks, but try not to stimulate or squeeze your nipples or breast during this time. Look for a supportive bra to alleviate the discomfort.

8. More Tips

  • Make use of pads to help deal with bleeding and vaginal discharge. Be sure to change your pad every 2-4 hours to avoid infections.
  • Never use tampons to help stop bleeding. 
  • Increase your intake of water and stay hydrated, especially if you have diarrhea and vomiting.

9. Know When to Call a Doctor

You can certainly take some steps to shorten recovery time after abortion, and you also need to know when you need medical help. Call your doctor if:

  • You have severe bleeding and passing clots larger than a golf ball.
  • You have heavy bleeding for more than two hours.
  • You have any signs of infection, including dizziness, muscle aches, headache, and a general feeling of illness.
  • You experience hot flushes and have severe abdominal pain.
  • You are vomiting and it is not getting any better with time.
  • You have light bleeding but it has not improved even after two weeks.
  • You have certain symptoms that developed after taking a new medicine.
  • You have signs of depression. 
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