After Your Abortion

Rest assured that all patients will receive clear and concise directions about their aftercare medications and responsibilities before they leave.

Immediately after your (surgical) abortion:

A nurse or medical staff person will help you dress and escort you to the recovery room, where you’ll rest for up to an hour. You’ll be given medications to help minimize cramping, and have some time to rest. The recovery room nurse will monitor your condition closely (heart rate, temperature, bleeding and so forth). If you feel hungry, you’ll be offered a snack and something to drink.

Before leaving, you will be given a list of aftercare instructions and medications to take home, as well as birth control (if you’ve opted for it). You will also receive a 24-hour number that you can call should you have any questions or concerns in the coming days. When you’re ready to go home, we will contact your ride for you, and help escort you to your car.

For the rest of the day:

We suggest you plan ahead to have the rest of the day off in a safe and comfortable place. You should have access to a telephone, and if possible, a supportive partner, friend, or family member nearby. Though there are no food/drink restrictions, we recommend eating lightly and getting plenty of water over for the rest of the day. Recreational drugs or alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

You may experience some cramping and bleeding (similar to a period) for the rest of the day, and in the days to come. If so, use sanitary pads only (no tampons), and ibuprofen or other non-aspirin medications to ease discomfort.

2-3 weeks following your abortion:

You may return to normal activity as you feel ready, however we recommend you wait several days before beginning strenuous exercise routines and/or heavy physical labor and activities.

If you have been given birth control, follow the start-date instructions provided by your doctor. For most women, they will begin their birth control pills, ring, or patch on the Sunday immediately after their procedure.

For at least two weeks, use only sanitary pads or panty liners, no tampons.

Nothing should go inside the vagina for at least two full weeks (this is to prevent the risk of infection as the body heals itself). This includes, but is not limited to: tampons, intercourse, sex toys, douching, feminine sprays, and so forth. In addition, no swimming, hot tubs or baths (showers and normal washing with a mild soap is fine).

Bleeding and cramping after your abortion may last only a few hours, days, or could come in the form of light or heavy spotting for up to several weeks. While it is difficult to determine exactly what to expect, most women will be back to their regular menstrual cycle within six weeks.