aftercare

The following information is to let you know what is normal, what to expect, and what to do if a problem arises after your abortion. We’re always available to answer any questions you may have and we encourage you to call our clinic first if you have any concerns.

MEDICAL LINE
Monday to Saturday 9am–5pm
416.932.0446 x 0
1.800.556.6835 x 0
Recorded information service x 7014

NOTE: if you call the pager, please enter your phone number and area code, keep your line clear and stay by the phone. If you don’t hear from a doctor within 30 minutes, please call again.

Bleeding
As your hormone levels adjust to normal, you might experience bleeding or spotting for the next 2 to 3 weeks or you might not bleed at all. If you do bleed, your flow may increase when you get up in the morning, sit on the toilet, or do anything strenuous. This is normal. Drinking alcohol, lifting heavy objects, using marijuana or taking “period” medications like Midol, Ponstan or Anaprox may also increase your bleeding. Lying down with your feet up should help.

If you’re not used to wearing sanitary pads it may feel like you’re bleeding more than normal. If you are concerned please give us a call.

If you soak through several pads in one hour, or soak through one pad an hour for over three hours call the clinic immediately.

Cramping
Cramping on and off for 2 to 3 weeks after your abortion is perfectly normal. This is because your uterus is returning to its normal non-pregnant size. During this time, you may feel pressure in your lower abdomen or pain in the lower back or inner thighs.

To help ease your cramps:

  • Drink warm liquids
  • Place a heating pad on the sore area
  • Walk around or change positions frequently
  • Bring your knees to your chest with your hips pointing up

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain, and you are not allergic to codeine, take 1 or 2 ibuprofen tablets every 4 hours. You may also ask your pharmacist for Tylenol #1, which is available without a prescription. If none of these methods work please call the clinic.

Preventing Infection

Your cervix will remain slightly open for some time after your abortion so anything you put into your vagina may cause an infection. That’s why it’s important for you to follow these instructions for ONE WEEK:

  • NO TAMPONS – Sanitary pads only
  • NO TUB BATHS – Showers only
  • NO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
  • NO SWIMMING
  • NO HOT TUBS or JACUZZIS
  • NO DOUCHING

The usual signs of an infection may include fever, lower abdominal tenderness, and vaginal discharge. Please call us right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

Post-Abortion Check-Up
It is very important that you have a check-up 2 to 3 weeks after your abortion, even if you’re still bleeding. If you don’t have a doctor, or if you’re not comfortable seeing your regular doctor, please phone the clinic and we will assist you in arranging an appointment. During the check-up, your doctor will do a pelvic exam to ensure your uterus and cervix have returned to normal and that there are no signs of infection.

Please note: If you take a pregnancy test at this time it may still come out positive. Do not panic. This is because it takes a couple of weeks for your hormone levels to change. Therefore, it is NOT recommended to do so at this time.

Your Next Period
Unless you have started taking the Birth Control Pill, your first period will start anytime from 2 to 8 weeks after your abortion, however most women start their period within 4 to 6 weeks.

Contraception After an Abortion
To prevent infection, do not to have sex for one week after your abortion. When you become sexually active again, it is very important to use contraception because it’s possible for you to get pregnant again as early as seven days after an abortion – even before you have your first period. We’ll help you choose the birth control method that best suits your lifestyle and answer any questions you may have.

Remember, the pill or IUD, do not protect you from serious STIs like HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, genital warts and trichomonas, which are all spread during sexual intercourse. Always use a condom to protect yourself. Safe sex is a sign of respect, not distrust.

Safe sex is a sign of respect, not distrust.

Pregnancy Symptoms After an Abortion
Most of your symptoms will vanish in a week or so, and as your hormone levels return to normal the nausea associated with pregnancy is the first to go. After your abortion, your breasts may become painfully swollen and hard and may produce a thin watery discharge. This usually goes away in several days, but in the meantime do not press, massage or squeeze your breasts; this will only produce more fluid. To make yourself feel more comfortable wear a tight bra, use ice packs for 10 to 20 minutes a few times a day, and take Tylenol if necessary.

Returning to Daily Life
You might decide to return to work right after your abortion, or maybe you’ll decide to take the rest of the day off to relax. Like most women, you’ll probably feel much better after a light meal. The best advice we can give you is to listen to your body and go back to your normal activities only when you feel up to it.

Emotional Reactions
Chances are you’ll feel a sense of relief after your abortion because you’ve made a difficult decision about your life and have tolerated the procedure well. In the days and weeks that follow, you may experience a sense of loss or strong feelings of sadness and anger or you may even experience feelings that are unfamiliar. This is totally natural, and it helps if you can share these feelings with someone close to you.

If you experience any emotional distress or difficulty following your abortion, please call our clinic and talk to one of our counselors. We provide post-abortion counseling.

Or you can call The National Abortion Federation (NAF) hotline. This service provides counseling and counseling referrals within your community, and is available to you at no cost.

NAF HOTLINE
Monday to Friday 8am–9pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
1.800.772.9100