How To Take Care Of Yourself After An Abortion

A young woman dealing with stressful abortion and talking to her doctor

Abortion can have many severe side effects on a woman’s body despite medical advancements in this field. While mental stress is entirely unavoidable, physical pain in the form of soreness in breasts, bleeding and cramping has a significant impact on your body too. However, recovery after abortion is possible, and your body can bounce back with some medical care and lots of willpower.

A young woman sitting on the couch, unhappy with her positive pregnancy result

Side Effects and Complications of Abortion

Abortion can be a huge emotional and physical strain on the parents, especially the mother. Even if it is carried out by a professional doctor, there are certain complications and side effects that could follow the procedure. Let us understand a few of the side-effects:

1. Bleeding

This is probably one of the most common complications one could face after the pregnancy is terminated. During the procedure, a lot of blood is lost from the blood vessels between the placenta and the uterus. The bleeding could persist for a long time and could become heavier too.

2. Cramps/Pain

Cramping up is another side-effect which could cause discomfort to you. If the abortion has taken place after 12 weeks, cramping is common in such cases. Severe pelvic pain is also a sign of infection in the body.

3. Discharge

Foul-smelling vaginal discharge is indicative of an infection in the uterus, fallopian tube or the vagina. If left untreated it could lead to pelvic inflammatory diseases, and you should bring this to your doctor’s notice immediately.

4. Body Temperature

Expect your body temperature to remain higher than normal due to various changes occurring in your body. If your temperature rises beyond 100.4°C, consult your doctor immediately.

5. Other

A woman could experience septic shock post-abortion. The symptoms for this side effect include chills, abdominal pain, fever and low blood pressure. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, bleeding and fever are also indicators of uterine perforation.

What about Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy and Birth Control?

Your body will start preparing itself for the next menstrual cycle immediately after the abortion. If you indulge in unprotected sex, you can become pregnant any time before your period. Remember, that your partner plays an important role when you want to avoid a pregnancy. This is the right time to discuss the preferred birth control method. Post-abortion, your periods should resume after three to six weeks unless you are taking birth control pills. Your menstrual cycle will be accompanied by cramping during the first one or two weeks.

Emotions after Abortion

Women can react differently to an abortion. Many women go through a rollercoaster of emotions after an abortion while others take it in their stride. For some, there is a sense of relief while others feel a deep regret of having undergone the procedure. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and accept that they are as real as the physical side-effects. If the feelings of regret are not addressed quickly, they could lead to long-term depression.


For prevention of infections, doctors will recommend Azithromycin and Flagyl. Methergine and Ergotamine are helpful in bringing the uterus back to its original size. This tablet has to be taken every eight hours. You will also experience a lot of physical pain and cramping, and Norco or Ibuprofen will help you to ease the pain. A single tablet must be taken every 8 hours along with a glass of milk or food.

Consult your doctor before you begin with these medicines. In case you are taking any other medications, you need to inform the doctor about the same.

Post Abortion Care Tips

A depressed young woman lying in bed

You are most likely going to go through a phase of bodily changes. While some symptoms will remain for around two weeks, a few will subside within 72 hours of the abortion. To recover quickly, after abortion care is necessary. Here are a few tips that will help you recover faster:

1. Post-Abortion Diet Care

Since a lot of blood is lost during an abortion, quickly getting on to a nutrient-rich diet is advisable. During this period, one must consume 8-9 glasses of water every day and increase the intake of proteins and vitamins.

2. Using Contraceptives

You should consider the active use of contraceptives after an abortion to avoid any unwanted pregnancies. Your body is in an enhanced fertility stage due to hormonal changes. Also, consider abstaining from sex for two weeks so that your body recovers.

3. Tender Breasts

Post abortion, your breasts will feel tender and heavy. This can last for about two weeks and it is best to wear well-fitting bras during this time. Do not stimulate your breasts during this period.

4. Infection

You should consult your doctor if you have a fever or if you break into cold sweats. An irregular and smelly discharge is also a sign of an infection in the vagina or uterus so keep a watch.

5. Bleeding

Post abortion, you will experience bleeding which is the body’s natural way of recovering from the procedure. But if the flow is quite heavy, you should get in touch with your doctor as it could be an infection.

6. Cramps and Contractions

You could experience severe cramping if the abortion has taken place after 12 or more weeks of pregnancy. Also since the uterus tries to return to its normal position, this leads to cramps.

7. Emotional Upheaval

Abortion will leave some emotional scars, and you could experience emotional turmoil and even prolonged periods of sadness. Uplift your moods by going out for walks or spending some time in the company of friends. The amount of rest after abortion is also a key factor in feeling stronger and healthier.

Make sure to rest to neutralise the side effects of a terminated pregnancy. Your body will tell you exactly when to return to normal routines, and you should take a call accordingly. Increased activity will cause cramping or bleeding, so avoid any exercise. Follow it up with a pelvic examination after four weeks of the abortion. This will ensure that your body has recovered entirely from the abortion and you are ready to lead a healthy life.

Also Read:

Side Effects After Abortion
D and C After a Miscarriage/Abortion
Chances Of Conceiving After An Abortion