Tips to Speed Recovery after your Abortion
Following an uncomplicated abortion, recovery usually happens quite quickly. Here are some tips and advice to make the experience easier.
Sex after abortion
We advise you not to have sex (including receiving oral sex) for 2 weeks after an abortion to minimise the risk of infection. This will give your body the best chance to recover after your treatment. If you did not use contraception, you are at risk of being pregnant again. Please call us for advice.
Pregnancy test after your abortion
Make sure you take a pregnancy test to verify that your treatment has been successful 4 weeks after your abortion. A test done before 3 weeks after treatment may give you a false result.
Free face-to-face Post-abortion pregnancy checks in Dublin and Tallaght
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) offers a free post-abortion checkup (2-3 weeks after your abortion). Its team has lots of experience and will treat women in a supportive and non-judgmental way. The check-up usually takes 20 minutes and includes:
- A blood-pressure check
- A pelvic examination
- A Pregnancy test to confirm that the pregnancy has ended
- Check your bleeding pattern to ensure it is normal and there is no infection
- Assistance with your contraceptive needs if requested
- Free post-abortion counselling if requested – please note Marie Stopes UK also offers phone counselling as part of your treatment fee.
Reproductive Choices Dublin, 10-11 Berkeley Street, Dublin 7
To make an appointment, please call 01 830 0630.
IFPA Dublin - 5/7 Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin 1
To make an appointment, please call 01 872 7088 / 01 874 2110.
IFPA Tallaght - Level 3, The Square Shopping Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
To make an appointment, please call 01 4597685 / 01 4597686.
Use contraception immediately after your abortion. If you’ve been given the contraceptive pill – start taking this the day after your treatment. You don’t have to wait for your bleeding to stop or your first period to start. It’s possible to become pregnant straight after your abortion. If you have had the contraceptive implant, injection or coil at one of our clinics or centres this will start working immediately.
Washing after abortion
Although there's no medical reason for not having a bath or shower after your abortion, the medication you've been given can make you feel weak, dizzy and faint. If possible, have someone at home with you when you first bathe or shower.
A shower is preferable to a bath – don't have a bath if you're bleeding heavily. Do not use liquid antiseptic or disinfectant such as Dettol or heavily scented products around your vagina and genital area. Unscented products minimise the risk of infection and irritation.
Do not do vaginal douching. Douching is washing or cleaning the inside of the vagina with water or other fluids (vinegar, baking soda, iodine).
Can I take painkillers?
You can take pain relief such as:
- Paracetamol with Codeine
- Ibuprofen with Codeine
- Naproxen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which relieves pain, fever, swelling and stiffness)
You can take Ibuprofen with Paracetamol or Naproxen with Paracetamol, but please do not take Ibuprofen together with Naproxen.
Do not take any medication that contains aspirin as it can increase bleeding.
Can I wear Tampons?
Tampons can be used 4 weeks after your treatment and after your first period. We recommend that you wait till then to insert a tampon as this will minimise the risk of infection.
When can I start exercising again after abortion?
Do not exercise for 2 weeks. Activities such as swimming, team sports, going to the gym, horse riding or heavy physical work can all increase bleeding. If you have young children, try not to carry them more than necessary for the first few days – particularly up and down the stairs.
Can I drink alcohol after my abortion?
We advise you not to drink alcohol for 48 hours (2 days) following your treatment. Do not drink alcohol while taking antibiotics.
My breasts are leaking – should I be worried?
This is quite common following an abortion if you were over 10 weeks pregnant. Your body has been preparing for the pregnancy for a few weeks and your breasts may have enlarged to produce milk for breastfeeding. It can take a while to get back to normal and during this time your breasts may leak. It's very important that you do not squeeze or stimulate your breasts and nipples for the next couple of weeks as this will increase any leakage. Wear a supportive bra to help with any discomfort.
I am currently breastfeeding, should I stop?
Any medication can be transferred into breast milk (including anaesthetic), so you may choose not to breastfeed for 24-48 hours after treatment. You can prepare by expressing milk prior to your appointment. Please call us if you would like more information about this.