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Aftercare


Please read the following information and instructions carefully. This will be your reference as to what is normal, what to expect, and what to do if a problem or concern arises.

All client information is confidential. Our concern is your health and privacy.

Our staff is available to answer any questions and we recommend that you call the clinic first if you have any concerns.

Bleeding:

Every woman and every pregnancy is different. Bleeding after an abortion also varies. Some women do not bleed. Some start bleeding after the abortion while others may have bleeding or brown spotting immediately, which may continue for 2-3 weeks. The flow of blood may increase 3 to 4 days after the abortion as the hormone levels adjust to the ending of the pregnancy. You may pass blood clots on the 3rd or 4th day after the abortion – when you rise in the morning, when you sit on the toilet, or if you perform a strenuous activity. This is normal. Drinking alcohol, lifting heavy objects, using marijuana or “period” medications such as Midol, Ponstan, or Anaprox may increase bleeding.

Excessive Bleeding:

If you find that you are soaking through several maxi pads in 1 hour, or soak through 1 maxi pad per hour for more than three hours, contact the emergency pager number that was given to you in your recovery package.

If you should start to bleed more heavily, it may be helpful to lie down for a while and put your feet up. Increased bleeding may happen after a short period of increased activity or exercise.

If you are not used to wearing sanitary pads, you may feel that there is more bleeding than normal. If you are concerned call the clinic, or the emergency pager if after hours.

Cramping:

Cramping after an abortion is normal. Your uterus was enlarged and is returning to its normal, non-pregnant, size. Cramping can occur off and on for 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure.

Many women experience increased cramps on the 3rd or 4th day after the abortion and may pass clots. Some women do not experience cramps at all. You may feel some pressure in your lower abdomen or pain in the lower back or inner thighs.

To ease the cramps:
Ibuprofen: 1 or 2 tablets every 4 hours - if you are not allergic to codeine, you may ask your pharmacist for Tylenol #1 and take as directed.

Other things that may be helpful are:
· drinking warm fluids
· a heating pad on the sore area
· walking around
· bringing your knees to chest with hips up and changing position frequently

If this does not relieve your cramping call the clinic numbers on the front page.

Preventing Infection:

Your cervix will remain slightly open for some time after the abortion and anything put into the vagina can cause an infection. The usual signs of infection can include fever, lower abdominal tenderness, and vaginal discharge.

Following your abortion, you must refrain from the following activities (list below) for 1 week, in order to help prevent infection:

NO TAMPONS – only use sanitary pads
NO TUB BATHS – showers only
NO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
NO SWIMMING
NO HOT TUBS or JACUZZIS
NO DOUCHING

Infections that are detected early can be treated easily and effectively, usually with antibiotics.

Medication:

Some patients are given medication to take home.

All envelopes will be clearly marked with instructions.

Antibiotics: Vibramycin/Flagyl/Amoxicillin are given to help prevent infection and must be taken as directed.

Post Abortion Check-Up:

It is important to have a check-up 2- 3 weeks after your abortion. It you do not have a doctor that you are comfortable seeing for a check-up after your abortion, ask us for the name of a doctor or clinic in your area. You should go for the check-up exam even if you are still bleeding. The doctor will do a pelvic exam to feel if your uterus has returned to its non-pregnant shape and look at your cervix to see if it has closed and that there is no redness indicating inflammation. Be aware that a pregnancy test at this time may still show a positive result. This is because it takes a couple of weeks for your hormone levels to change.

Please take your “Dear Doctor” letter to your check-up appointment.

Your Next Menstrual Cycle:

Unless you have started taking the Birth Control Pill, your first actual menstrual period will start anytime from 2 to 8 weeks after the abortion. We find that most women start their period in 4 to 6 weeks following the abortion.

Contraception After an Abortion:

Safe sex is a sign of respect, not distrust.

To prevent infection, you have been instructed not to have intercourse for 1 week after your abortion. When you resume sexual intercourse, it is important to use contraception because it is possible to get pregnant again as early as 7 days after an abortion, even before you have your first period.

The clinic counsellor or nurse are available to explain the instructions for the contraceptive method you have chosen.

Condoms: must be used with foam, or diaphragm, or sponge to be effective.

Birth Control Pill: the clinic nurse can supply a sample package. Start the pills on the first Sunday after the abortion and use a condom as well for adequate contraception during the first month. The pill, or IUD, will not protect you from serious sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) such as AIDS, chlamydia, genital warts, trichomonas, etc. which are spread during sexual intercourse. Use condoms to protect yourself from STI’s.

Pregnancy Symptoms After an Abortion:

Most symptoms will leave in a week or so. Nausea associated with the pregnancy is the first to go as the hormone levels change. Some women find that their breasts become painfully swollen and hard; there may be a thin, watery discharge. This will ease in several days. Do not press/massage/squeeze your breasts, as this stimulation will produce more fluid. Wear a tight bra, put ice packs on for 10 to 20 minutes for a few times daily, and take Tylenol for any discomfort.

Resuming Normal Activities:

Some women return to work the same day as their abortion. Some take it easy for the rest of the day. Most women feel better after a light meal.

You may return to normal activities whenever you feel up to it. Listen to your body.




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