After an aspiration (surgical) abortion
After the aspiration procedure:
- You may bleed heavily, moderately, lightly or not at all, for one to three weeks after the abortion. The bleeding may not start until several days after the abortion, it may stop and then start again, and you may pass clots with strong cramps for several days. Don’t be surprised if four to five days after the abortion you experience increased cramping or bleeding.
- Your normal period should begin three to six weeks after the abortion, unless you are on birth control pills, Depo-Provera (the shot) or have a Mirena.
- Menstrual-like cramping pain is normal for the first week or two. Use Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Actiprofen), Naproxen (Aleeve) or Tylenol or if needed. Aspirin (A.S.A., Entrophen) may increase bleeding. Heat from a hot water bottle or heating pad can help too.
- Smoking cigarettes after the abortion can make you faint so we recommend you not smoke for three hours after the procedure.
- You are not to drive, operate hazardous equipment, or make major decisions, like signing legal papers, until 24 hours after the procedure.
- Mood swings or emotional upset often accompanies the drop in pregnancy hormones and may last for a few days or even weeks. Morning sickness should disappear within two days and breast changes usually settle by the end of the first week but both may persist if you are on the birth control pill.
- It is very unlikely but you may notice a milky discharge from your breasts after the abortion. Do not express the fluid; this will go away within two weeks.
- You must contact the clinic if you had any unexpected hospitalizations within 30 days of the procedure.
- IF you were given antibiotics – take them!
- Two weeks after the abortion you should be feeling back to normal; if you are not call us for a follow-up appointment.
- Avoid alcohol and street drugs for 24 hours after the procedure
- Do not drive or operate hazardous equipment for 24 hours after the procedure.
- Do not do a pregnancy test afterwards as the pregnancy hormones leave the body slowly. A test can still be positive weeks after an abortion has removed the pregnancy.
- NOTE: Please be aware it IS possible to get pregnant right after an abortion; you can conceive very soon afterwards if you are not using any birth control method..
Free post-abortion counselling is available at the clinic for those who feel it would be helpful. If you experience prolonged sadness or emotional turmoil you may benefit from this counselling; there is no charge for this. To make an appointment for this service please call 604-322-6692 during normal clinic hours. We have produced a handout you may find helpful on how to cope afterwards. There is also a coping and caring for yourself worksheet and a pamphlet on Dealing with Difficult Emotions. Support persons can find information on how to support someone after an abortion here.
There are also some good, pro-choice post-abortion resources on the internet including the Peaceafterabortion.com website, the Exhale website, and a helpful pamphlet After your Abortion from the Hope Medical Group in the US. Another resource online is A Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Resolution After an Abortion. For spiritual issues, the Faith Aloud website may be helpful as well.
We have also written about some of the different circumstances that can impact a decision to have an abortion or the experience of having one. You can find that here.
If you would like an IUD inserted or if you need a post-IUD insertion checkup call us to make an appointment for this.
We would like you to contact us two weeks after your appointment. Please use the following form to tell us how you are doing: