Do I need follow-up care after an abortion with pills?
Going through an abortion can be a challenging task for women, having an abortion with pills means that a woman can go through this privately in the comfort of her home or in a clinic (depending on the legal restrictions surrounding abortion care in your country). You may have heard from other women or through other sources what to expect after taking the abortion pills, but we are here to set the record straight once and for all. Ideally strong cramps and bleeding are normal and to be expected. Therefore, when choosing to use abortion pills, it is advisable to take pain killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with pain relief. Some women also benefit from putting a heating pad on the belly or lower back to provide further relief from cramps.
As stated on our website you may be able to tell when you pass the pregnancy tissue. It may look like small, dark colored grapes and thin membranes or a small sac surrounded by a white, fluffy layer. Depending on the age of the pregnancy, these tissues can be smaller than your fingernail or as big as your thumb. If you can identify these tissues, that is an indication that the abortion was successful. Often, pregnancy tissue may be wrapped in blood clots and you may not see it unless you look very carefully. Be sure to use sanitary pads meant for heavy menstrual flow, so that you can monitor your bleeding. The bleeding or spotting may be on and off for some days, but will subside within 4 weeks.
In very rare instances, bleeding can be severe. In this case you need to reach out to a medical professional immediately. Severe bleeding indications involve the following:
- Passing clots that are bigger than a golf ball and lasting 2 or more hours.
- Soaking more than 2 large sanitary pads in an hour for 2 hours in a row.
- Bleeding heavily for 12 hours in a row.
Women are advised to avoid inserting any items into the vagina such as tampons, feminine douches and also to avoid vaginal intercourse due to the increased risk of infection. If you noticce the following signs of infection please reach out to a medical professional immediately:
- Fever of 38°C or higher lasting longer than 4 hours (it’s also possible to have an infection without any fever).
- Severe headaches and dizziness.
- Strong body and muscle pains.
- General feeling of weakness.
Due to the physical changes your body is going through, it is important that you get enough rest and avoid any strenuous activities. Taking good care of yourself by ensuring you stay hydrated and eating well will help alleviate any discomfort and ensure quick resumption to everyday life. In fact, most women can return to their normal activities within a few days after an abortion with pills.
Contrary to popular belief, most women do not need to go through any psychological intervention after an abortion with pills. It is true that the experience differs for each woman, but mostly it is a feeling of relief after being faced with a difficult decision and having to make the best choice for oneself. It is normal to feel sad and it’s important to express these feelings to those close to you. However, if you do experience any overwhelming feelings of depression, please see a Psychologist as soon as possible.
Remember to immediately speak to a doctor if you experience any signs of severe bleeding or infection, as well as vomiting lasting more than 4 to 6 hours, sudden belly swelling or increased heart rate, increased vaginal discharge or vaginal discharge with pungent smell and pain or swelling in your genital area.
We at www.howtouseabortionpill.org are here, always, to support you with accurate and reliable information to help you navigate an abortion with pills safely.