Making the brave decision to terminate a pregnancy is incredibly challenging. For some women, this is the right choice, but it doesn’t make the process any less difficult.
Oftentimes, women get swept up in the process and forget to take care of themselves after the procedure. However, after such a traumatic experience, this is one of the most essential things you need to be doing.
Modern pregnancy terminations have relatively fast recovery times, but there are still things any woman who has had an abortion should do to take care of herself. Any woman who has undergone a recent abortion should not only be caring for herself physically, but also emotionally.
Modern abortions, both medical and surgical, have relatively quick physical recovery times. It is important to be aware that some light bleeding and cramps are normal side effects, so try not to worry if you experience either of these.
However, there are some simple things that you can do to help with the recovery process:
- Drink plenty of water
- Take vitamins and eat healthy foods
- Take a few days off of work
- Get lots of sleep
- Avoid swimming or baths for two weeks
- Take the antibiotics given to you by your doctor
Most clinics offer a check-up two weeks after your termination, it is essential that you attend this. Visiting the doctor after an abortion allows them to check that you are healing properly and that you do not have any infections.
This appointment will also allow the doctor to determine that your cervix has closed properly; it takes roughly two weeks for this to happen. While the cervix is open you are susceptible to infections, so it is important to ensure that it closes. After this point, it is safe for you to swim and resume normal activities.
It is essential to give your body time to heal and to take the advice given to you by your doctor.
Mental and emotional health:
Oftentimes, the emotional side of terminating a pregnancy is more challenging and painful than the physical impact. Many women are surprised at the emotional effects an abortion has on them and find themselves under immense pressure. The truth is this pressure is unfairly placed upon women. It is important not to focus on this, and instead focus on taking the time you need to emotionally heal.
It is not uncommon for women to experience feelings of depression after an abortion. This is mainly as a result of the trauma caused by the experience. If you are feeling this way, you are not alone and should not feel embarrassed or ashamed.
If you are feeling depressed after your termination, it is suggested that you confide in the people who you are closest to. Talking about the experience with people who love you will prevent you from feeling alone. However, it is also highly recommended that you visit your doctor and discuss how you are feeling with them. In some situations women can be referred to a councillor or therapist in order to talk through their feelings and move past the trauma.
The most important thing to remember is that regardless of the emotions you are feeling, it does not mean you made the wrong decision. Accepting your feelings, dealing with them and slowly moving on is the best thing any women can do after terminating a pregnancy. This can be achieved by:
- Speaking to people you trust
- Doing activities you enjoy
- Thinking about the future
- Doing things that make you feel good
The main thing to recognise after an abortion is that healing, both physically and emotionally will take time. The best thing you can do is be kind to yourself and accept that you are strong enough to heal and move forward.
Erik Horn has been a senior editor at Health News Tribune for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions He’s a born-and-raised Torontonian and spends most of his weekends in search of strong coffee and stronger Wi-Fi.