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After Abortion / What happens after my appointment?

If you have had a non-surgical abortion using Methotrexate, you will be instructed to follow a diet without folic acid, commonly found in green vegetables and cereals, for the five to eight days until you insert the Misoprostol. You will insert the Misoprostol at bedtime, or another time when you are able to relax for several hours, in two doses 24 hours apart about one week after receiving the Methotrexate. You will begin to bleed and cramp several hours after inserting the Misoprostol and the pregnancy tissue will usually be passed in about 24 to 48 hours. Bleeding and spotting will continue for several weeks until your menstrual cycle resumes in about four to eight weeks.

If you have had a medical abortion using Mifepristone, you will insert the Misoprostol after two days. Several hours following the insertion of the Misoprostol, you will experience heavy cramping and bleeding as the uterus empties itself. This bleeding will lessen to spotting, which can last for four to eight weeks until your normal menstrual cycle resumes.

You will come back to your abortion provider for a follow-up visit two to three weeks after the procedure to ensure that all the tissue has passed. This visit is essential, as some women do not pass all of the tissue and require another prescription or a surgical procedure.

If you have had a surgical abortion, bleeding is not uncommon, although some women do not bleed at all. Many women will experience spotting that can last for several weeks until normal menstruation resumes. Two weeks after your procedure, you will return to your provider or to your regular gynecologist for a follow up examination to ensure that you are healing properly.

Regardless of the type of abortion you have had, there are some precautions which you must take to avoid complications. You should not insert any foreign objects into your vagina until you have been cleared at your follow-up examination. You are strongly advised not have sexual intercourse or use tampons. You should also avoid tub baths, douching or swimming during this time. The reason for this is that your cervix, the entrance to your uterus, has been opened by the abortion. Until your cervix closes completely, any bacteria that enter your vagina can easily travel to your uterus and cause a serious infection. Intercourse could also delay the closing of the cervix, leaving you vulnerable to infection for a longer period of time.

You are also advised to avoid any heavy lifting (25 lbs or over) until your follow-up exam. If you require a note for school or work, let the staff know before you leave the office and they will have the doctor write one for you. The note will not say that you had an abortion- merely that you have undergone medical treatment and your physician requests that you be excused from gym class or put on light duty at work.
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