After you go through your abortion procedure, you will experience bleeding. This bleeding is perfectly normal and would be similar to the menstrual periods women experience. The only thing is, as each woman’s body is different, the amount of this bleeding cannot be predicted and is different for each one of us.
Some woman do not bleed at all, some do not bleed till several days. Some bleed only lightly, some bleed heavily. Some bleed just like in their regular periods, with some bleeding stops but then starts again several days later. On an average, abortion related bleeding lasts for 1-2 weeks. Remember to use only sanitary towels or pads after abortion and avoid tampons for a few weeks for sure.
What to Expect
Apart from the flow of bleeding, there are some other things that accompany bleeding such as clear or brownish discharge or pinkish tissue discharge. You might pass blood clots in bleeding and that is completely normal as well. Clots are usually passed on and off for a few weeks.
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding and are having difficulty in coping with it, try lying down for a while and propping your feet up on a couple of pillows. Bleeding related tiredness and weakness can also be managed taking iron supplements for a few days. These supplements will also help in preventing anemia.
Another bleeding feature is the occurrence of cramps. After abortion, the uterus starts contracting in order to return to its normal size. This leads to cramps. You can deal with cramps by using a heating pad or a hot water bottle to soothe your lower abdomen. In case this doesn’t work, you can take over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin as it may increase bleeding.
What Can Increase Bleeding?
Steer clear of aspirin or alcohol as they may increase your blood flow. Strenuous exercise might also increase bleeding or pain from cramps.
Once bleeding stops, it will be followed by spotting. You are most likely to experience spotting until your next period. As mentioned earlier, it is best that you avoid tampons for a few weeks. Some women feel like douching themselves to keep them clean in bleeding, which is a dangerous practice. As the cervix is still opened due to abortion, even inserting a douche can cause infection.
When to Inform a Doctor?
In case you come across any of the following symptoms, ring your doctor quickly and follow his or her advice.
- if bleeding is much heavier than your normal period, i.e. if bleeding is soaking 2 or more sanitary pads per hour for 2 hours in a row
- if you are bleeding heavily for 12 hours in a row
- if the clots that you are passing are bigger in size than a golf ball
- if you are passing white, grey or green tissue in bleeding
- if there is any unusual smelling discharge from vagina
All in All
Bleeding surely brings with it pain and discomfort. However, be patient as after abortion procedure, medical recovery takes place fast for most women.
A follow up exam is important as it will ensure that you are completely healed. This exam is scheduled 3-4 weeks after the abortion. Don’t miss the exam even if you are still bleeding.
Most importantly, listen to your body. Get rest whenever you are fatigued or are having cramps, especially if you are having heavy bleeding. Don’t rush through anything, resume normal activities only when your body feels ready for it.