Surgical Abortion Care - Topic Overview
Signs of complications
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms after an abortion:
Severe bleeding. Both medical and surgical abortions usually cause bleeding that is different from a normal menstrual period. Severe bleeding can mean:
Passing clots that are bigger than a golf ball, lasting 2 or more hours. Soaking more than 2 large pads in an hour, for 2 hours in a row. Bleeding heavily for 12 hours in a row. Signs of infection in your whole body, such as
headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general feeling of illness. Severe infection is possible without fever. Severe pain in the belly that is not relieved by pain medicine, rest, or heat
Hot flushes or a fever of
100.4°F (38°C) or higher that lasts longer than 4 hours Vomiting lasting more than 4 to 6 hours
Sudden belly swelling or rapid heart rate
Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad Pain, swelling, or redness in the genital area
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have had any of these symptoms after a recent abortion:
Bleeding (not spotting) for longer than 2 weeks
New, unexplained symptoms that may be caused by medicines used in your treatment
No menstrual period within 6 weeks after the procedure
Signs and symptoms of
depression. Hormonal changes after a pregnancy can cause depression that requires treatment.
Follow-up exam after a surgical abortion
A follow-up exam may be done about 2 weeks after a surgical abortion. The exam may include:
A physical exam, to check the
cervix and uterus . A lab test to check for a low
human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) level, which means that the pregnancy has ended. A
blood test, to check for anemia. A discussion of
birth control use. If birth control measures were started immediately after the abortion procedure, the proper use of the method can be discussed again. If you had an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted at the time of the abortion procedure, you can discuss with your doctor any questions you have.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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Surgical Abortion Care Topics