Aftercare Instructions

  1. It is best to rest for the first 24 hours. Avoid heavy lifting (over 20 lbs) and strenuous exercise &/or work for 2-3 days. Work/school excuses available upon request.
  2. Do not take a bath, use a hot tub or go swimming for 1 week after the procedure. You may take showers.
  3. Do not drive if taking narcotic pain medications.
  4. Finish the antibiotic medication that was provided to help prevent infection.
  5. Do not put anything in your vagina for 2 weeks following the procedure. This includes sexual intercourse, or douching. Use pads for your bleeding for the first week, then switch to tampons, if still needed.

Bleeding

It is normal to have some bleeding after your procedure. The bleeding may be light and last only a few days, or it may be somewhat heavy (like a menstrual period) and last up to 2-3 weeks. Some women have no bleeding, or bleeding that stops and then starts again. Some women also pass blood clots. Please call us if your bleeding is so heavy that you soak more than 1 maxi pad per hour.

Cramping

Most women experience cramping after the procedure, but the intensity and duration depend on the individual. Measures that can help include using a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen, taking pain medicine (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, prescription pain medicine), or uterine massage. However, if your cramping does not get better after trying these measures, please call us.

Preventing Infection

Take the antibiotic pills that you were given, according to the instructions. It is important that you finish taking all of the pills. Do not put anything in your vagina for two weeks following your procedure to help decrease the risk for infection, including no tampons and no sex.

Menstrual Period

Your next period should come within 4-8 weeks after your procedure. Sometimes the first period is not like your regular periods—it can be heavier or lighter, longer or shorter than normal. This will regulate itself within a month or two. You can get pregnant at any time if you are not using birth control, even if you aren’t having regular periods. Start your birth control as instructed.

Birth Control

Condoms & vaginal spermicide are available at drug stores, and if used together can protect you from both pregnancy & sexually transmitted infections.

Hormonal birth control (birth control pills, Nuva Ring, Ortho Evra patch) should be started the day of your abortion. However, the first seven days of contraception may not protect you from pregnancy, so use condoms also. Hormonal birth control will not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Emotional Support

It is normal to have a wide range of feelings about having an abortion. It can be a stressful time. These free, confidential resources are available to you for support:

  • Backline 888-493-0092, www.yourbackline.org
  • Exhale 866-439-4253, www.4exhale.org

Call us if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  1. You have a fever higher than 99.8°F (37.6°C)
  2. You bleed or soak through 1 maxi-pad per hour
  3. You pass two or more blood clots larger than the size of a large marble, accompanied by strong cramping or heavy bleeding.
  4. Severe cramping or persistent abdominal pain that is not controlled with pain medication.
  5. You have yellow, green or foul smelling vaginal discharge
  6. Your pregnancy symptoms do not go away within 7 days (e.g. nausea, breast tenderness, etc...)
  7. You are experiencing significant emotional distress, or you have any concerns or questions regarding the procedure.
  8. If you are unable to return to DTWC for a check-up, please take a pregnancy test in 3 weeks (this test may be positive for up to 3 weeks after your abortion)
During regular business hours call: 503-224-3435 or 1-800-742-9202 After hours emergencies call: 503-294-1953 through our answering service and a clinic nurse will quickly return your call.