Many women feel a need for care after abortion. Understanding both your physical and emotional reactions to pregnancy termination is very important for your wellbeing. Care Net is here to help with and discuss any of your questions and listen to any of your concerns that you may be having regarding your abortion decision and your need for care after abortion.
Listed below are some of the physical side effects that are common after an abortion. These may vary from woman to woman. If you are experiencing physical side effects that do not appear to be normal or are more extreme, you need to be seen by a physician. Do not wait—you may need to go to an emergency room.
Common Physical Side Effects
- Bleeding: Some bleeding and spotting that may last 2-6 weeks. Ranges from light to moderate. For continued heavy bleeding, seek emergency medical help.
- Discharge: Mucus-like discharge ranging in color (brown to dark.) If this does not lessen or increase after several days, or if the odor becomes strong, go to the doctor.
- Pain/Cramping: Pressure in the lower abdomen. Similar to a menstrual cramp as the uterus returns to its normal state. Pain that increases or does not go away is an indication to seek medical treatment.
- Fatigue: Feeling of tiredness and exhaustion is normal. Take vitamins, drink lots of fluids, get extra rest and avoid vigorous exercise for several days. Avoid junk food. Do not drink alcohol or use prescribed drugs.
- Infection: Fever is a symptom that may indicate an infection. This can occur if there is retained fetal tissue, you had an STI at the time of the abortion, or due to other reasons. If you have a fever, call your doctor right away. If the abortion provider has given you antibiotics, take all of them as prescribed. If fever persists, go to the emergency room.
Common Emotional Side Effects
If so, you may have made your choice to have an abortion willingly, without any hang-ups or second thoughts. Maybe you felt pressured by others whom you cared about and respected. Or perhaps you felt as if abortion was your only option. In any case, you made a choice and you had no idea at that time how that choice would affect you.
Although not all women and men who chose abortion have side effects afterward, many do. Immediately following an abortion, you may have felt a sense of relief that the crisis was over. However, weeks, months, or years after the abortion(s), the sense of relief you felt may have been replaced by:
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol or drug use
- Problems with intimacy
- Feelings of low self-esteem
- Thoughts of suicide
- Desire to avoid pregnant women and/or babies
- Fear of infertility
- Fear of becoming pregnant again
- Fear that future children may die
- Recurring nightmares or flashbacks of the abortion experience
You’re not alone. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, especially if they are keeping you from the activities you used to engage in, you may want to seek help. Many have found freedom and healing from the pain of their abortions. Now you have an opportunity to choose again—to make a choice to heal, to become strong, and to be restored. We know that the choice is far from easy. We are here to help.
We offer a confidential, non-judgmental environment in which you can talk one-on-one with someone about your abortion(s). Call 505-880-8373 to confidentially discuss your needs and to find out more about how our After-Abortion Care program could help you.