After Abortion Support

POST ABORTION RECOVERY

You Are Not Alone

Many women have concerns about their health following an abortion. It is important to understand what symptoms to expect and how to take care of yourself after an abortion. Your doctor or clinic should provide you with specific abortion after-care instructions.

TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AFTER AN ABORTION

  • Drink water and healthy fluids.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects for at least one week.
  • Take any antibiotics you were given for the full number of days prescribed.
  • Avoid vaginal insertions for at least two weeks, including sex and tampons.

Call your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms you are having.

COMPLICATIONS: WARNING SIGNS

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after an abortion:

  • Heavy bleeding or passing large clots (larger than golf ball size).
  • Bleeding that lasts more than 14 days.
  • Fever over 100 degrees.
  • Abdominal pain that is worse than a normal period.
  • Signs of infection such as achiness and general feeling of illness.
  • Vomiting that lasts more than 4 hours.
  • Sudden abdominal swelling or rapid heart rate.
  • Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
  • Pain, redness or swelling in the genital area.

If you have any of the above after an abortion, seek emergency medical care immediately.

PHYSICAL EFFECTS

Your doctor or clinic should provide you with specific abortion after-care instructions.  Most women experience some of the following after an abortion:

  • Bleeding – on average bleeding lasts 14 days but can last up to 21 days. 1
  • Cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea/Vomiting

These symptoms typically resolve within a week but may take longer. If symptoms persist or become severe, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

One of the most common complications associated with abortion is infection. This can be caused by incomplete abortion or exposure to bacteria vaginally, such as by having sex too soon. You can reduce the risk of infection by waiting to have sex and using pads instead of tampons.

Symptoms of infections include strong-smelling vaginal discharge, fever, and severe pelvic pain. Untreated infections can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, so call your doctor for treatment as soon as you notice symptoms.

Other potential complications that a woman may experience after an abortion include:

  • Incomplete or failed abortion, in which the fetus is still viable or was not fully evacuated from the womb. This can cause serious medical complications.
  • Uterine perforation, which has symptoms of severe abdominal pain, bleeding, and fever.
  • Septic shock, which has symptoms that include fever, chills, abdominal pain, and low blood pressure.
  • Some symptoms can indicate an emergency complication stemming from your abortion. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical care:
    • fever
    • excessively heavy bleeding (as discussed above)
    • strong-smelling vaginal discharge
    • chills
    • severe abdominal pain

SEX AFTER ABORTION

After both types of abortion procedures, it’s typically advised that you wait about two weeks before having sex or inserting anything vaginally. This reduces the risk of serious infections and is an important part of post-abortion care.

If you have unprotected sex following an abortion, call your doctor or local clinic and ask what measures you can take to prevent pregnancy.

If you suddenly experience sharp pain during sex after an abortion, call your local clinic for advice. If they believe it’s not an emergency, they may still schedule you for a follow-up.

EMOTIONAL EFFECTS

Research suggests that women who have had abortions may be at increased risk for mental health problems. 2 Some women report symptoms like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 3 Some of those post-abortion symptoms may include:

  • Regret
  • Grief
  • Sadness/Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt/Shame
  • Suicidal thoughts

Contact us for a referral to a licensed counselor if you are experiencing any of the above post-abortion symptoms. It is important for your health that you do not ignore any negative feelings you may have. The National Hotline for Abortion Recovery is also available to assist you via phone: 866-482-5433 or visit aaplog.org/post-abortion-healing/ for more recovery resources.

If you suddenly experience sharp pain during sex after an abortion, call your local clinic for advice. If they believe it’s not an emergency, they may still schedule you for a follow-up.

AFTER ABORTION SUPPORT

You made the decision you thought was best.  But now it seems to be hurting you more than you ever thought possible and causing unexplained emotions.  If abortion has left you broken, we can help you discover peace and healing.  At Open Arms, we offer post-abortion support.  You will be able to freely discuss your abortion experience in a non-judgmental confidential and safe atmosphere. Individual one-on-one sessions with our trained and experienced staff are available at NO COST to you.  Appointments are available Monday – Thursday to help you begin healing emotionally after an abortion. Please call 740-439-4568 or text 740-280-6908 for more information.

REVERSAL OPTIONS

If you have taken the first dose of the pill and are experiencing doubts about your abortion, it may be possible to reverse your abortion.4 Every hour since your first dose of the abortion pill matters, so it’s important to call the Abortion Reversal Hotline at 877-558-0333 or an OB provider as soon as possible.

NO JUDGMENTS

Citations

1  Davis A, Westhoff C, De Nonno L (2000). Bleeding patterns after early abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol or manual vacuum aspiration. J Am Med Womens Assoc 55(3 Suppl):141-4; Harwood B, Meckstroth KR, Mishell Dr, Jain JK (2001). Serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin levels and endometrial thickness after medical abortion. Contraception 63(4):255-6.

2  Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder E (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J Child Psychol Psyc 47(1):16-24.

3 Coyle CT, Coleman PK, Rue VM (2010). Inadequate preabortion counseling and decision conflict as predictors of subsequent relationship difficulties and psychological stress in men and women. Traumatology 16(1):16-30.

4 Abortion Option Information adapted from:
http://www.abortionpillreversal.com

Common Questions

Do I Have To Tell My Parents If I’m Under 18?

The requirements for this vary from state to state. In Ohio, the law requires anyone under the age of 18 who is looking to obtain an abortion to have consent from a parent or legal guardian.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost?

The final cost is dependent on multiple factors. Those factors being: how far along you are in your pregnancy, what type of abortion you have, your healthcare provider, and the clinic you go to. Ohio has a 24 hour waiting period, which requires all patients to come to the clinic at least twice. The cost of an abortion starts around $500 and increases as pregnancy progresses. In Ohio, health plans (including Medicare and Medicaid) can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, or in cases of rape or incest.

When can I get an abortion? Am I too far along to take the pill?

In Ohio, an abortion can be obtained up to 22 weeks after the last menstrual period. Any abortion beyond that, may only be performed under the condition that your life is in danger from the pregnancy or that you are dealing with severe physical health complications. In addition, an abortion pill is an option only for women who are no more than 10 weeks pregnant. After 10 weeks, the pill becomes illegal to use for abortion and surgical methods must be used.

If you don’t know how far along you are, Open Arms Pregnancy Center offers a free limited obstetrical ultrasound with proof of positive pregnancy. Call or stop in to get an appointment scheduled today.

If I change my mind after taking the first pill, is there anything I can do?

Many women don’t know this, but the abortion pill is actually two pills, each with a different function. If you change your mind after taking the first pill and haven’t yet taken the second pill, call the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline 877-558-0333 right away. It may not be too late for you to save the pregnancy.

Why do I need an ultrasound before an abortion?

Receiving an ultrasound before you get an abortion is an important medical step and one of the most accurate ways to get essential information about your pregnancy. An ultrasound determines if you’re still pregnant, how far along you are, and the location of your pregnancy. This is the first step in discovering what pregnancy options you have as each abortion procedure is only available during certain points of your pregnancy. At Open Arms Pregnancy Center, we provide limited ultrasounds free of charge; call or text today to learn more.

Does abortion hurt? How will I feel after?

Every person’s experience with abortion will differ. Most women experience bleeding and cramping, as well as other possible physical risks.

There is no universally accepted standard for how you should expect to feel after an abortion. In some cases, women can deal with feelings of depression, grief, guilt, and loss; this is commonly referred to as Post Abortion Stress Syndrome or PASS. If you are dealing with such feelings or just want someone to talk to about your experience with abortion, Open Arms provides post-abortion support at no cost. Call to schedule an appointment today.

*Open Arms Pregnancy Center offers accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services.

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Contact

Open Arms Pregnancy Center
141 S 11th St.,
Cambridge, OH 43725

Phone: 740-439-4568
Text Us: 740-280-6908
Crisis Line: 1-800-395-HELP

Hours

Monday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Thursday: 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Friday: CLOSED
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: CLOSED

ALL SERVICES ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL

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OPTIONS COUNSELING

We provide education about all of your pregnancy options with a trained Client Advocate.

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