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From Northern Ireland

0345 300 3737

From Republic of Ireland

(Freephone) 1 800 200 374

After Abortion Care and Warning Signs

You know your own body and you know when something is not quite right. Abortion is a safe procedure, especially in the early stages and if carried out in a clinical setting like a Marie Stopes UK centre.

Serious problems afterwards are very rare. If you take the antibiotics which were prescribed by our medical team after your abortion, you should be at low risk of getting an infection.

However, there are some signs to watch out for.

Warning signs

It is rare for any serious medical problems to occur after an abortion. If you are travelling back to Ireland or Northern Ireland and experience any of the symptoms below after an abortion, seek medical attention.

Prolonged and heavy bleeding

Bleeding which soaks more than 2 pads in an hour for 2 hours in a row.

Pain and cramping for more than 5 days

Most women will experience cramping on and off for about 2 weeks after an abortion. Taking painkillers regularly and using a heatpad should help with any discomfort or pain. If these steps are not working, then please call us for advice.

  A common cause of ongoing pain can be an infection. Most infections are identified by:

  • Fever
  • malodorous discharge
  • general lethargy

High temperature or fever – if it is above 39C

Take your temperature with a thermometer. If it is above 39oC, take 1gm of Paracetamol (2x tablets) and seek medical advice as you may have an infection. If your temperature is below 38C, take regular Paracetamol for 24hrs (2x 500mg  tablets 4 hourly, but do not take more than 4 doses in 24 hours) and see if the temperature settles. You should also drink plenty of fluids. If this does not help, see your GP for assessment.

Chest, rib or shoulder-tip pain

(usually on one side) this might be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy and needs to be explored further. Please contact your GP or Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU)

Generally feeling unwell or fainting

During the first week to ten days after your abortion, it's not unusual to experience hormonal changes. As your body returns back to normal, you may experience headaches and feel hot and cold or shivery for a few days. You may experience similar symptoms to when your period is due and feel run down. This is all normal at this stage of your recovery. If, however, you feel very unwell with fever, pain or smelly discharge you should see your GP or attend A&E immediately.

A strong malodorous smelling discharge

A smelly vaginal discharge on its own is not necessarily a sign of infection and can be associated with a small amount of tissue left behind following your treatment which will normally pass naturally when you have your next period. However, if you also have other signs and symptoms and generally feeling unwell make an appointment with your GP or one of our trusted partners in Ireland or Northern Ireland as you may need to be prescribed antibiotics.

Vaginal itch/soreness which is not settling

These symptoms are quite common and may be symptoms of vaginal thrush. We advise applying Canesten cream (Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication used in the treatment of fungal infections) to your genital area (not in your vagina) which will relieve itching and soreness. The oral thrush tablet Fluconazole will also clear the thrush. Both can be bought from a pharmacy or prescribed by a doctor. If this treatment does not relieve your symptoms within a few days, see your GP.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should go to your doctor or local hospital immediately as you could have an infection or another complication.

Don’t hesitate to call us 24 hours a day.

Our dedicated aftercare helpline is here to help you if you have any concerns after your treatment. You will be able to speak to one of our nurses who will advise you on a course of action or reassure you that everything is normal.

Going to hospital A&E

If you know that you are really unwell or one of our nurses has advised you to go to A&E, don’t be scared. Your health is the most important thing and because you have had a legal abortion with Marie Stopes, you cannot be prosecuted.

We're here to help 24/7. Get in touch.

From Northern Ireland

0345 300 3737

From Republic of Ireland

(Freephone) 1 800 200 374

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