Does It Take to Recover from an Abortion

How Long Does It Take to Recover from an Abortion?

Alena Maxwell
By Alena Maxwell
contributor

April 5, 2022


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  • Abortion is a surgical procedure women can undergo to eliminate an unwanted pregnancy. In most cases, the process is pretty straightforward and relatively quick. While many people believe that abortion recovery requires a great deal of time and emotional investment, the healing duration following an abortion largely depends on the length of the pregnancy. Other factors such as the procedure’s emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects vary from one pregnant person to another.

    Sadly, even with safe and legal abortion clinics today, most service providers fail to provide adequate information on critical care following a procedure. According to a Portland abortion clinic, here’s how you can take care of yourself physically and psychologically following your treatment, the expected duration of recovery, and when you should see a doctor. With that information, you can keep track of your recovery without worrying.

    Expectations Following an Abortion

    The type of abortion a physician chooses for a patient will depend on their personal medical needs and the stage of pregnancy. There are three methods of abortion: medication, aspiration, and D & E (dilation and evacuation) (D&E).

    Following an abortion, the patients’ normal menstrual flow should resume within four to eight weeks. One may experience spotting or light bleeding as the cervix shrinks, and their menstrual flow will gradually increase over a few days or a week. Further, you’ll be required to return for follow-up visits in two weeks to ensure no infection signs. If the treatment is followed by significant bleeding or if it has taken longer than ten weeks for your menstrual period to begin, you will need a medical evaluation to check if the abortion was incomplete.

    Getting an abortion is an emotional experience. Although feelings after an abortion vary from person to person, it is normal and okay to feel sad, disappointed, or upset following the procedure. These are some of the most common emotions that follow the procedure. Also, some patients get feelings of excitement having overcome such a situation. The sudden change in hormones can affect mood and energy levels. It’s worth noting that it’s normal to have strong emotions surrounding the decision to abort a pregnancy and the aftermath of the procedure.

    Common Post-Abortion Symptoms

    It is usual to have these symptoms post an abortion procedure.’

    • Spotting or mild vaginal bleed 
    • Discomfort and cramps 
    • Enlarged breasts that may be painful

    However, other symptoms may also occur. The type and number of symptoms experienced depend on several factors, including the stage of pregnancy when the abortion takes place, the patient’s personal health history, age, and the type of treatment procedure. Most women have mild to moderate physical side effects after an abortion. Sometimes these side effects can be moderate to severe. Another emotional reaction that women at times experience is depression. 

    Physical Post-Abortion Care

    After abortions, the cervix only closes after some time, leaving the patient at a higher risk of infections. To reduce the chances of infections, avoid engaging in penetrative intercourse or using tampons or douches for two weeks after an abortion. After this, doctors will check to ensure that the cervix is closed. You can also massage your lower back or rub your stomach using a heat pack, take  OTC pain killers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and attend future appointments. They’ll go a long way in helping you with any pain relief.

    Emotional Post-Abortion Care

    Abortion aftermath can be confusing for anyone. You may not know whether your feelings are normal or something more is at play. While some people may experience long-lasting emotional discomfort after an abortion, it’s important to understand that everyone experiences this time differently, and it’s also normal to feel nothing. Some people go through emotions from anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and stress after their abortion, while others feel indifferent.

    People with a history of mental health problems should take advantage of support services and systems during such a period. If possible, make extra efforts to monitor yourself and manage triggers well. Getting in touch with your loved ones for support through this period can also benefit your mental health. 

    Getting in Touch with Doctors

    Abortion clinics offer aftercare while you are at the clinic and once you have returned home. You should follow the advice given by your clinic doctor. Additionally, most abortion clinics offer a twenty-four-hour advising helpline to assist individuals in assessing any concerns that may require care. Patients should contact the guidance number, the neighborhood emergency line, or visit the facility’s emergency department should they face excessive bleeding, high fevers, dizziness or fainting, smelly discharge, or vomiting and nausea. 

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