After an Abortion…
If you have had an abortion or are considering one you may want to know what to expect after the procedure. Every woman’s body is unique and reacts in different ways but here is a general idea of what to expect.
The body takes time to recover after an interrupted pregnancy. Common reactions after an abortion follow…most women experience some of these but not all.
· Irregular bleeding or spotting for up to 3 weeks
· Cramping for 2 to 6 weeks
· Emotional reactions
Besides the more common symptoms there are also more severe and less common symptoms. Call your doctor if…
· Severe bleeding
· Passing clots larger than a golf ball
· Bleeding more than a heavy period
· Signs of infection such as headache, muscle aches, or dizziness.
· Severe pain in the belly that cannot be relieved by medicine, heat, or rest
· Fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
· Vomiting lasting more than 4 hours
· Pain, swelling, redness in the genital area
· No menstrual period within 6 weeks of the procedure
· Signs of depression
· Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
· Abdominal swelling and/or tenderness
· Continued strong symptoms of pregnancy
· Blood in stool or urine
Two weeks after an abortion a checkup is important. Checking in with your doctor is done to check for infection, make sure the cervix has closed, and to verify the abortion was complete.
After an abortion procedure it can take up to a year for the pregnancy hormones to leave the body. Two to four weeks following an abortion it is common to experience the pregnancy hormone reactions like crying easily, nausea, tired, no appetite, depressed, and trouble sleeping.
After the first month the hormones may start to leave the body. The length of your period and the time it comes may vary from month to month. Signs of pregnancy may occur each month right before the period starts. The cervix may feel tender for a while. Sex may be painful or difficult. But do remember it is still possible to get pregnant even just 2 weeks after the procedure.
Reactions after an abortion are not just physical. Emotional symptoms occur as well.
The first and most common thought and feeling after an abortion is often relief. This feeling of relief is not always permanent however. Abortion is a final decision; there is no turning back. Due to that fact women may experience a sense of sadness later. A sadness that is deeper than the relief once felt. The world around us implies that abortion is the closure, the answer, the fix. That is not true for many women, however. Women need to grieve in a safe place. One therapist stated this, “the average time frame I see for women finally being able to process the emotions and grief around their choice is at least 15 years after the fact.”
Dealing with the emotional side of an abortion can be painful. Women may pick up habits and activities that on the outside may not seem linked to the abortion, but on the inside they scream it. Depression, alcohol and/or drug abuse, dependency, and eating disorders may all be ways of burying the grief one feels.
Hope is available. There can be light at the end of the tunnel. Full recovery and healing is possible! Secrets kill. Finding a safe place to cry and talk is the beginning of healing. The following are some steps a women can take to aide in recovery and healing:
· Find a safe place to share your story
· Admit you can’t keep the secret buried any longer
· Give yourself a break. Stop condemning and punishing yourself.
· Don’t confuse the legal, political and religious debates with your own personal journey
· Break out of the trapping secret and begin to live again
You are not alone. Reach out. Call. 573-883-1088