Abortions are a medical procedure thousands of women undergo each year. The majority of those procedures are carried out successfully without any complications. However, like any medical intervention, abortions can lead to health risks. Common questions among our abortion clinic in Fort Lauderdale patients include “Can the procedure hurt my uterus?” and “What are the signs of womb damage after abortion?”
Both surgical and medical abortion (the abortion pill) are very safe and have a low health complication rate – about the same as other standard procedures you’d have at your gynecology’s office. Still, knowing about the potential risks and common signs of complications is fundamental for prompt action in case you notice something is off after your clinical abortion.
In this article, our healthcare professionals will tell you about the signs of womb damage after abortion, which warning signs you should pay attention to the days following the procedure, and standard measures to avoid health complications and have a safe and successful pregnancy termination.
Can Surgical Abortions Damage The Uterus?
Surgical abortions, when performed in medical settings by healthcare professionals, rarely damage the uterus. Data from research confirms that only 2% of surgical abortions lead to any kind of health complication, making it a highly safe procedure.
Nevertheless, just like with any other surgical procedure, there is a low chance of risks and complications. Those complications include womb damage or scar tissue formation during or after a surgical abortion procedure.
Medical professionals use the term “perforation” to describe this type of injury in the uterus. Uterus or womb perforation occurs when the surgical instrument used to empty the uterus goes through the uterine wall. The perforation may not be noticed during the procedure, but the patient will develop some symptoms a few days later.
A uterus perforation can lead to hemorrhaging, infections, and other severe health conditions. Therefore, womb damage due to an abortion is considered an emergency, and the patient should seek immediate medical help. The good news is that uterus perforation is serious but treatable.
Signs Of Womb Damage After Abortion
After a surgical abortion, women must have enough rest and take special care of their health, just like they would after any other type of surgery. The days following the procedure are crucial for a successful and fast recovery.
Besides looking after their health and resting, abortion healthcare providers advise their patients to pay attention to how their bodies are healing and promptly act if they notice something is off. A quick response is crucial to prevent infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, or post-abortion syndrome.
Immediately contact your doctor or pregnancy care provider if you notice the following signs of womb damage after abortion:
You should know that bleeding after abortion is an average side effect of surgical and medical abortions, so keep that in mind before considering bleeding as a sign of uterus perforation.
Women can expect to experience bleeding up to several weeks after the procedure. The bleeding should be like the one you have during your period; you can also experience some cramping and blood clots.
You should contact your healthcare provider if you notice excessive bleeding that soaks through more than two pads or other menstrual hygiene products per hour.
Some mild pain or discomfort and cramps like the ones you have during menstruation are also expected after an abortion, whether through surgery or the abortion pill.
Women are encouraged to rest to allow their bodies to recover from the procedure. If your doctor recommends it, you can take some painkillers, such as ibuprofen, to control the pain.
If you suffer severe pain that doesn’t go away with painkillers or remains even a week before the abortion, it can be a sign of a health complication, such as womb damage. In case you have excessive pelvic, lower back, and abdominal pain, schedule a visit with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Pain While Having Sex
After an abortion, your body goes through a deep healing process; your healthcare providers may advise that you avoid sex for at least a few days or weeks.
How long should you wait to have sex after terminating a pregnancy?
- Abortion pill: After a medical abortion, doctors indicate you wait to have sex until your follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider – typically within a week or two after taking the pill.
- Surgical abortion: After an in-clinic surgical abortion, your body usually takes slightly longer to recover. It is recommended you wait at least two weeks after the procedure or until your doctor gives you green light.
As long as you take the proper follow-up care and wait the recommended time, sex after abortion shouldn’t be painful. If you feel discomfort or chronic pelvic pain while having sex, avoid sexual activity and consult with your doctor, as it can be a sign of uterus perforation or another health complication.
Other Signs of Uterus Perforation
Several other symptoms can indicate womb damage, including:
- Fever or hot flashes
Those could also be signs of other minor complications or infections. Seeking immediate medical guidance is the best way to recover your health quickly.
What Is The Asherman Syndrome?
Asherman syndrome is another potential risk of surgical abortions. This syndrome occurs when scar tissue develops in the uterus as a result of a surgical abortion. Asherman syndrome is rare, but the complication rate increases when a patient has had multiple abortions.
Some of the most typical symptoms of Asherman syndrome include:
- Extremely light periods or not having periods at all
- Intense cramping or abdominal and pelvic pain
- Difficulty getting pregnant – Asherman syndrome reduces a woman’s chances of conceiving
Some women don’t experience symptoms at all. A healthcare professional can diagnose Asherman syndrome through a transvaginal ultrasound examination. The treatment involves another surgery to remove the scar tissue.
How Can I Protect My Health Before And After an Abortion?
Surgical abortions are safe, but, like with any other medical procedure, you increase your chances of success and lower complication rates by taking some measures before and after the surgery.
Prepare Yourself Physically And Metally For A Surgical Abortion
Are you planning to terminate your pregnancy? These are some safety measures you must follow:
- Find A Professional Clinic: Surgical abortions must only be performed in a professional setting by an experienced healthcare provider. Take your time to find a reputable abortion clinic with positive reviews and with a staff you feel comfortable with.
- Listen To Your Doctors: Before the procedure, the doctors or nurses will explain the process and tell you all you need to know to be prepared. Follow their guidance to ensure you are ready for the surgery day. Ask them all your questions so you can clear all your doubts.
- No food before the procedure: Your doctor will likely advise you not to smoke, eat, or drink six hours before the surgery.
- Bring someone along: If you feel like having company, ask your partner, a relative, or a friend to join you in this process. Counting on your loved ones’ support can be really helpful, especially if you are feeling anxious about the procedure.
- Take a counseling session: All reputable abortion clinics offer their patients counseling services where the woman can learn more about the procedure, possible complications, her options, and follow-up care.
Follow-Up Care After A Surgical Abortion
These are the most crucial follow-up care you must stick to after the abortion:
- Rest: Your body just went through an intense procedure and will now be undergoing a deep recovery. Make sure to give it enough time to heal properly. Avoid any type of intense physical activity. You can go back to your regular routine after a day or two but try to take things easy.
- Avoid intercourse: Avoid having sex for at least three weeks or for as long as recommended by your primary doctor.
- Follow your doctor’s advice: Your healthcare provider will tell you the after-abortion care you must take for a rapid and successful recovery. Ensure to follow their advice, and again, we recommend you ask as many questions as necessary to eliminate any doubt.
- Schedule a follow-up consultation: Not all clinics have mandatory follow-up sessions; however, we highly recommend you schedule a follow-up consultation right after or before the surgery so you don’t forget. On that appointment, your doctor will check your development and recovery. That is crucial to confirm your body is healing correctly or promptly find any signs of complications.
Do You Need Professional Guidance? Contact Us
Surgical abortions are a safe procedure to terminate a pregnancy. While the complication rate is low, health issues may occur. Awareness of potential complications and how to spot them is crucial to seeking medical help and regaining your health.
Today, we told you about the most common signs of womb damage after abortion. Would you like to learn more about surgical abortion and how the procedure works? Contact us; our dedicated team of women’s health professionals will guide you and answer all your questions.