Having an abortion is a big decision, and it can result in both physical and emotional symptoms that you may not have been prepared for. Even if you were fully on board with the decision to have the abortion, you might experience massive mood swings and intense feelings of guilt, for example, shortly after the abortion. This may be due to regrets, yes, but chances are you’re experiencing the hormonal comedown that all women who have had a terminated pregnancy, either through abortion or miscarriage, experience.
This is because the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hGC) is at its highest during the first trimester. This trimester is when safe abortions usually occur. When you end your pregnancy, that hormone drops back to pre-pregnancy levels, and like any big hormonal change it can leave you reeling.
There may also be physical symptoms, like nausea, cramping or vaginal bleeding, that you will also want to prepare for.
Abortion is a key part of women’s healthcare, but aftercare is essential for any sort of procedure, especially one that impacts your hormones and body to the extent that terminating a pregnancy does.
If you are planning to have an abortion, or have recently had one, then use this guide to guide your aftercare program:
Schedule Follow-Up Care
The first step that you will want to get started on before you even leave the clinic is to schedule for a check-up visit. You can do this on-site or go online to gcaus.com.au to make your appointment on the go or at home. Regardless of when you specifically organize the return visit, make it a priority. The peace of mind that everything is healing well after the procedure is worthwhile. If there are concerns, then you’ll also have an appointment ready for you to bring up those issues in person.
Nausea is a common side effect of medical abortions, which could make it difficult to eat a healthy diet which will help your body heal and recover. Take this into account and try to eat more fiber to start with to help offset that sick feeling. From there you’ll want to focus on getting more protein, iron, B vitamins and calcium. Since your body is recovering, you’ll also be eating more calories. The only additional tip from there is to aim to hydrate well.
When it comes to exercise, give your body a break. Heavy exercise can put excess strain on your muscles. You may find that stretching is actually a better use of your time than trying to jump back into your fitness schedule. Slow, mindful yoga that works to help you calm the mind and destress will be far more beneficial to your recovery than returning to pre-pregnancy routines right away.
Massages, hot compression, and relaxation are all essential following an abortion. Your body needs time to rest and recover, and to do so without additional strain. Use this time to treat yourself to hot baths, to massages, and to hanging out on the couch eating your favorite foods. Caring for the emotional whiplash can sometimes mean falling into your comfort habits. Do this with your favorite people, and you’ll be well on your way to recovery.