Following an abortion, you will receive instructions for aftercare. It is very important that you follow these instructions and take any prescriptions you have been given by your healthcare provider. In order to reduce the risk of infection, you may be instructed to avoid:
- Having vaginal intercourse for a period of time
- Using tampons or menstrual cups (use pads instead)
- Taking baths
- Inserting anything inside your vagina – including fingers or herbs or soaps
Your provider will give you a 24-hour telephone number to call if you become concerned about your condition. If you develop any of the following symptoms, you will need to contact your abortion provider:
- Severe cramps
- Chills, or fever of 37.5 degrees or more
- Bleeding that is heavier than the heaviest day of your normal menstrual period, or that soaks through more than two maxi-pads an hour for more than two hours
- Bad-smelling discharge from your vagina
- Continuing symptoms of pregnancy
The provider will also give you an appointment or referral for a follow up exam within 2 weeks of a medical abortion and will suggest a follow-up visit within 2 to 4 weeks of an aspiration (surgical) abortion to confirm that you have not developed any complications. In the case of a medical abortion, the provider also confirms that the abortion is complete. Even if you feel fine, you should go to your post-abortion appointment.
Some may choose to go to their regular family doctor or health practitioner for their follow-up exam. You may want to determine whether your doctor will support your choice, because it is important that you tell them that you had an abortion. You should also let the provider who provided your abortion know that you plan to see your own doctor for the follow-up exam.
Taking care of yourself
You’ve made this important decision for yourself and now it is time to take care of yourself! The below resources and activities may help you work through any concerns you might be having after an abortion. However, if this information does not fit your personal needs, we recommend that you seek the help of a trained, unbiased counsellor who can help you work through your own feelings.
More useful resources on post-abortion self-care: