Caring for yourself after an abortion is critical to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. You’ve probably heard the term “self-care,” but what does that mean after having an abortion?
Self-care is “the ability of individuals to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Even if you carefully weighed your options and decided on abortion, the post-abortion time is stressful for your body. Because of this, you can prioritize all aspects of your health by practicing good self-care after having an abortion.
If you’re considering abortion or recovering from a medical or surgical abortion, there are essential steps to take to improve your body’s ability to recover well. We’ll start by discussing how to care for yourself physically after an abortion.
Physical Self-Care After an Abortion
Whether you had a medical abortion or a surgical abortion, you can improve your chances of healing well and thriving afterward. The list may appear lengthy, but remember that any form of abortion is a procedure that requires your body to heal. And YOU are capable, strong, and worth being cared for!
- Care for yourself physically in the days following an abortion by:
- Sleeping and resting, which promote healing in your body.
- Avoiding lifting or strenuously exercising until a licensed healthcare provider clears you.
- Alleviating post-abortion cramping pain with a heating pad. You can also try uterine massage by pressing the palm of your hand into your abdomen and rubbing it in a circular motion.
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other non-caffeinated fluids.
- Replenishing electrolytes with things like coconut water, Pedialyte, low-sugar sports drinks, and bananas.
- Eating small frequent meals that are bland and starchy (such as dry toast or crackers) to alleviate nausea.
- Using pads instead of tampons.
- Having no vaginal sex until your healthcare provider tells you that your body is ready.
- Taking all prescribed antibiotics until they are gone to prevent infection.
- Taking pain and anti-nausea medication as prescribed.
- Taking your temperature and report any fever over 100.4°.
- Monitor yourself for signs of post-abortion complications.
If you experience abnormal symptoms after an abortion, seek immediate medical attention. Addressing complications early can prevent an infection from spreading to your bloodstream or progressing to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
See a doctor right away if you are experiencing the following:
- Two or more maxi pads soaked per hour for two hours or passing clots larger than a golf ball for two hours or more
- Severe pain that’s not relieved with pain medication
- A fever higher than 100.4°
- An odorous vaginal discharge
- Nausea and vomiting that lasts more than 24 hours
- Pregnancy symptoms two weeks after the abortion, which could indicate a failed abortion
- Make an appointment with an OB/GYN physician.
Make an appointment with a licensed physician two to four weeks after you have an abortion. Be sure to go to the appointment, even if you feel fine!
There are several reasons why medical follow-up is necessary, including:
- The opportunity to catch any early signs of infection or other complications before they can worsen.
- Confirming that your uterus has nothing left behind from the pregnancy that shouldn’t be there.
- Ensuring that your cervix is closed.
- Making sure your uterus has returned to pre-pregnancy size.
- Discussing family planning. Keep in mind that you can get pregnant very quickly after an abortion.
You deserve the best possible care as you recover from an abortion. But you are much more than a physical body. In next month’s article, we will discuss how your emotional, mental, and spiritual health are also valuable aspects of you that need self-care after an abortion.
Corbella Clinic Offers Professional and Compassionate Support
Corbella Clinic is here for you. We see you wholistically and value you. We believe that you can make good decisions for yourself and your future.
If you’re experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, reach out to us today for compassionate support. We offer no-cost pregnancy services, including pregnancy testing, limited ultrasounds, STI testing, and answers to your questions – all by licensed healthcare professionals.
You can online, by calling 847-697-0200, or by texting us at 224-268-5848.
Lawler, M., Colino, S., Walsh, K., Lawler, M., Byrne, C., Bedosky, L., Jesner, L., Carstensen, M., & Zapata, K. (n.d.). What is self-care and why is it critical for your health? EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/self-care/
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2022, April 30). Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352594