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After Abortion Care Charleston, WV

Taking Care of Yourself After an Abortion

  • Drink water and healthy fluids.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects for at least one week.
  • If given antibiotics, take the full number of days prescribed.
  • Avoid vaginal insertions for at least two weeks, including sex and tampons.

Call your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms you are having. 1 3

Physical Effects

Most women experience some of the following after an abortion:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Spotting/bleeding

If symptoms persist or become severe, and/or you are concerned about any symptoms you are having, call your doctor.

Emotional Effects

Research suggests that women who have had abortions may be at increased risk for mental health problems over a varying period of time, even years later. Some women who have experienced an abortion report symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 2 3. Some of those symptoms may include:

  • Regret
  • Grief
  • Sadness/Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt/Shame
  • Suicidal thoughts

It is important for your health that you not ignore any negative feelings you may have. The National Hotline for Abortion Recovery is also available to assist you via phone: 866-482-5433 or online: For information about additional long-term health impacts of abortion, see Abortion Risks and Side Effects.

Post Abortive Complications: Warning Signs

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after an abortion 3:

  • Excessive bleeding and/or persistent bleeding
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Fever
  • Continuing symptoms of pregnancy
  • Chills
  • Severe abdominal/pelvic pain

Call your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms you are having. Most providers recommend a checkup 2-3 weeks after a surgical abortion or 1-2 weeks after a medical abortion.


Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder E (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J Child Psychol Psyc 47(1):16-24.

Coyle CT, Coleman PK, Rue VM (2010) Inadequate preabortion counseling and decision conflict as predictors of subsequent relationship difficulties and psychological stress in men and women Traumatology 16(1):16-30.)

Healthline (2016). “After Abortion Care.” Retrieved from

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