Abortion whether therapeutic or elective is a traumatic experience to the woman and she needs excellent medical care as well as emotional support before as well as after the abortion. The most important thing is to make sure that the abortion is complete and no fecal matter remains inside.
The most necessary step in abortion aftercare is the follow-up visit after two weeks when she will be examined thoroughly to make sure the abortion is complete with an ultrasound, complete physical check up and also a pregnancy test. Until the follow-up visit, the patient should observe any abnormality and seek medical attention immediately to avoid any medical emergency.
The patient is usually prescribed a course of antibiotics which she must complete to speed up healing without any infection. The patient must take her body temperature twice a day for a week or so; as fever will be a sign that there may be infection present, if there be a hike in the temperature, she should immediately seek medical help.
The patient may have local pain, tenderness and bleeding for quite a few days following the abortion. Actually in the case of medical abortion, there may be prolonged bleeding. If there be abnormal and continuous bleeding, she must seek medical attention to rule out any perforation or other complications.
Following the abortion, the patient has to be very careful about any possible infection of the uterus, tubes as well as vaginal passage. She must use sanitary napkins only and not tampons as it may lead to infection of vaginal passage. Also no douches or intercourse for two weeks to decrease any risk of infection. No tub bath for two days until the cervix is tightly closed but she can have a shower.
Blood pressure also is generally checked and if the patient is diabetic, the sugar levels also should be monitored.
Immediately right after an abortion, she should avoid any strenuous activities like lifting heavy items over 10 pounds, heavy exercises, horse riding, playing games like squash and swimming. She can resume normal activities like attending school/college/office, driving, walking etc.
Generally the regular menstrual periods will start after 6-8 weeks. As it is quite possible to get pregnant right away again, the patient should seek advice about avoiding unwanted pregnancies with better contraceptive measures.
If the patient is Rh negative, she may need RhoGAM to avoid incompatibility complications in future pregnancies.
Because of sudden hormonal changes after an abortion, the patient may feel fatigued and depressed. She should talk to her doctor about it. She can do light exercises, eat a healthy diet and try to get back to her normal routine.
There may be continued breast tenderness, breast discharge, morning sickness, and other pregnancy induced symptoms. Also the lower abdomen and back pain, soreness and tenderness may persist for some days. Most of them will improve within 48-72 hours.
And there are quite a number of home remedies for treating most of these discomforts following an abortion.
* Pain in the lower back and abdomen: Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad to relieve the discomfort.
* Breast tenderness/discharge: Use an absorbent material inside a snug-fitting bra and place some cabbage to relieve discomfort.
Normally by 5-7 days after the abortion, the bleeding would have completely stopped and all pain and tenderness and other symptoms of discomfort must be gone and the patient can go back to her normal life.