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Physical Recovery After an Abortion

Physical Recovery After an Abortion

These instructions are for recovery after a surgical abortion. Most of them apply to a chemical (medical) abortion as well. Okay, so you've just had an abortion? What physical warning signs should you look for? What can you do, to take care of yourself afterwards as you recover? What about fertility? How soon could you possibly get pregnant again?
On taking care of yourself - Basic things you can do:
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Stay off work for a few days if you can
  • Take vitamins, eat healthy food, and try to sleep
  • Take the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor right away, and for the full amount of days prescribed!
  • No exercise for two weeks
  • No swimming or tub baths for 2 weeks
  • Don't lift anything over 15 pounds for two weeks, don't use ANYTHING vaginally for 2-4 weeks - no sex, no tampons, no douches.
  • You can ovulate as soon as two weeks after an abortion, which means yes, you could get pregnant again within two weeks after an abortion!
  • After the 2-4 weeks is over, you should NOT have sex again unless you feel physically recovered, and have discussed with your partner what you want to do if an unplanned pregnancy occurs again. Do NOT let yourself be pressured into having sex again before you are physically and emotionally ready, and have had a serious discussion about the course of action for future unplanned pregnancies. You can get pregnant as soon as two weeks after an abortion! Your body normally will go back to it's regular cycle, and release an egg (ovulation) at 2 weeks post-ab. So once you decide you are ready to resume sexual intercourse again, make sure you are using birth control right away. As many of us know, birth control is NOT 100% effective. So it's very important that you don't have sex again until you are healed physically and emotionally, and you have a clear consensus on what will happen if you become unexpectedly pregnant again.
  • For women who had an abortion for maternal health reasons, or for a poor prenatal diagnosis, consult your doctor about birth control and future pregnancies.
  • If you were 9 or more weeks along in the pregnancy, it is possible that you may have trouble with milk, or a milky fluid leaking from your breasts after the abortion. The further along you were, the higher the chance of having your 'milk come in'. This can be upsetting, but it won't last for long. It's a normal effect of the hormones that your body releases when you are no longer pregnant. These hormones make your body start to produce milk, whenever a pregnancy is ended. Your breasts may feel sore, tight, swollen, and will leak out droplets of clear to whitish fluid. At times the milk may 'let down', and a substantial amount of liquid may come out. To help with this stage, wear a well-fitting/snug bra, and try avoid stimulation of your breasts or nipples. Wear the bra 24 hours a day until your milk dries up. It can take one to four weeks for the milk to dry up. It will not be as painful as it originally feels when the milk first comes in - as the milk is not 'used' the pressure on the milk ducts will cause the milk to 'dry up'. Keep wearing that snug-fitting bra, and take tylenol for the soreness, and this will subside. If you develop a fever, or extreme tenderness in either of your breasts, consult a doctor - there is also a condition where your milk glands can get infected, and this will need to be treated with antibiotics. (This is a rare complication).

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