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Caring for Yourself after an Abortion

Abortion, when done by an accredited doctor in a sterile and well-equipped environment, is a very safe procedure. Depending on the length of gestation, the method used to abort an unplanned pregnancy varies, from vacuum aspiration to dilation and evacuation (D&E). Following any abortion surgery, the woman is provided with a set of aftercare instructions that will help facilitate full and speedy recovery.

For instance, the patient may be instructed to refrain from the following activities after getting abortion services:

  • Any activity that involves inserting anything into the vagina, including sexual intercourse and douching. Such activities should be avoided for at least 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Using tampons is also prohibited; thus, the woman is encouraged to use sanitary pads instead.
  • Light showers are allowed, but swimming and taking long baths in hot tubs should be avoided for 1-2 weeks.

Taking antibiotics as prescribed by the health professional also helps reduce the risk of infection.

Mild cramping and bleeding are normal after an abortion surgery and should subside in the coming days and weeks. To lessen discomfort, the patient can try some of these tips:

  • Massage the stomach and lower back areas to relieve cramps. Gentle uterine massages, which involves massaging around the navel and pubic line, are helpful in pain management as well.
  • Apply heat pads and hot water bottles to the stomach and back to reduce pain and cramping.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen to manage mild pain. On the other hand, if pain is severe or getting worse, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Monitor for chills and any signs of fever, which could indicate an infection. If fever is present, the patient should visit her doctor as soon as possible.
  • Persistent bleeding and abnormal vaginal discharge should also be checked on immediately.

After abortion services are administered, the doctor usually sets a follow-up appointment to make sure that the abortion was successfully completed and recovery is going well. Contrary to what some people may believe, an abortion in the hands of an accredited and experienced doctor will have no negative effects on a woman’s fertility. In fact, a woman may become pregnant again immediately after the procedure, which is why discussing contraceptive options is also often part of the abortion services provided.

Dr Jen Shek Wei Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

MBBS (Singapore), MMed (O&G) (Singapore), FRCOG (London), FAM (Singapore)

I am an obstetrician and gynaecologist with over 30 years’ experience in Singapore and the United Kingdom, dedicated to improving women’s reproductive health and wellbeing. From preventive care to medical and surgical treatments, I handle them all within my clinic. As a supporter of reproductive choice, I also provide abortion in Singapore that is safe, effective and confidential. At our accredited abortion clinic, patients can expect a smooth and informed process along with attentive follow-up care. Whatever the purpose of visit, I will be happy to serve you to the best of my ability.

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