How to Take Care of Yourself at Home – Aftercare Instructions
Your body will recover from the abortion very quickly. It is important to take good care of yourself once you are discharged from our care. This information sheet will provide you with guidance on this care.
- The bleeding that is experienced after an abortion is very individual. It is normal to have no bleeding at all or a range of bleeding from very light to heavier than a normal menstrual period. Bleeding usually lasts 5-7 days but irregular bleeding may continue until your next menstrual period.
- It may take up to 5-8 weeks for your regular menstrual cycle to return.
- You may notice a discharge after your abortion that looks like coffee grounds or a small clump of tissue. This is the Monsel solution that is used to control bleeding after the procedure.
- It is normal to have mild discomfort after your abortion.
You can use over-the-counter pain relievers for relief of the discomfort. Generally, Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium work very well for cramps. If you are unable to take that, acetaminophen is also an option. The amount depends on which medication you are using:
- Ibuprofen 800mg every eight hours. Over-the-counter brands (Advil and Motrin) contain 200mg per pill. You can take four of the over-the-counter every 8 hours.
- Naproxen Sodium 500mg every 12 hours. Over-the-counter brands (Aleve) contain 220mg. You can take two every 12 hours.
- Acetaminophen 1000mg every 4-6 hours. Over-the-counter brands (Extra Strength Tylenol) contain 500mg per pill. Do not take more than 8 pills in a 24 hour period.
- You may have mild discomfort at the site of your IV. Warm moist compresses will help relieve the discomfort.
- You may resume your normal diet. Please do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours.
- Rest and light activity for the rest of today.
- You may return to your normal activity tomorrow. You may return to work or school.
- Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous activity for one week.
- Please do not have sexual intercourse until your follow-up exam.
- Do not take tub baths for 2 weeks. You may shower as often as you would like.
- Please do not use tampons or douche for the first two weeks after your procedure.
- The effects of the medications can last for up to 24 hours after your procedure. These feelings can include: sleepiness, blurry vision, unsteady gait, nausea and vomiting.
- Do not drive, operate heavy machinery or make important decisions for the next 24 hours.
- Do not take any medications that have a sedating effect. This includes: allergy medications, sleep aids, and prescription pain relievers.
- You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection. Please take them as directed and finish all of the pills.
- You may be given birth control to start after your abortion. Please refer to the birth control fact sheet for those instructions.
- It is important to return to our office for your follow-up visit. You can schedule this visit before you leave or call our office at your convenience.
- If you are unable to return to Gynemed for your follow-up, please schedule an appointment with your routine gynecologist for this care one week after your abortion.
Please contact us at (410) 391-1000 immediately
If you experience:
- Fever of 100.4 or greater.
- Soaking 2 maxi-pads an hour for more than 2 hours in a row.
- Passing blood clots larger than the size of a half-dollar.
- Severe pain that is not relieved with pain medication.
If you are unable to contact us and feel like you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency.