Preparation Before Surgical Abortion
Before a surgical abortion, your OB-GYN evaluates your past health, including the medicines you are taking. Apart from that, the OB-GYN may do the following:-
- Physical exam, including a pelvic exam to evaluate your health, how long you have been pregnant, the location as well as the health of the embryo or fetus.
- An ultrasound to confirm how far along and where the pregnancy is. Your OB-GYN will explain the procedure, possible complications, and when to call your doctor.
- You may also discuss your decision to have an abortion and your feelings about it. You could also discuss your plans for future pregnancies and birth control use.
Follow-up exam after a surgical abortion
A follow-up exam is done usually about 2 weeks after the surgical abortion. The exam may include the following:-
- A blood test to check for anemia
- A physical exam to check the condition of the cervix and the uterus
- A test to check for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels
Apart from all the above, you may discuss the use of birth control. If birth control measures were started just after the abortion, the proper use of the method can be discussed again.
Also, you can ask all the questions that you have to your OB-GYN if you had an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted at the time of the surgical abortion.
Benefits of Surgical Termination of Pregnancy(STP)
Surgical abortion is considered the best method to terminate an unwanted pregnancy when MTP fails or pregnancy exceeds 9 weeks. Following are the best USPs if choosing surgical abortion:-
- Effective method 99% of surgical abortions are successful
- only about 1% of the women need a repeat procedure or other medical intervention for complete abortion.
- No risk of complications The risk of complications during or after a surgical abortion is almost zero. However, you must ensure that you choose an experienced and skilled ob-gynecologist for this procedure.
- Daycare procedure A surgical abortion is a daycare procedure where the patient doesn’t need to stay in the hospital. Usually, the doctor discharges the patient just after a few hours of the procedure.
- Precise procedure Surgical termination of pregnancy is a precise procedure. The surgical abortion hardly takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. This way to terminate the pregnancy is the best method for those who want to get rid of their unwanted pregnancies in just one day.
- Minimal bleeding As compared to Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), surgical abortion involves minimal bleeding. If you are suffering from blood-related complications or are scared of bleeding, surgical abortion can be the best option for you.
- Quick recovery Most women return to their daily routine just after 1-2 days of their surgical abortion. After the surgical abortion, you may have cramps and light bleeding for a few days.
Also, to recover quickly, you should avoid sexual intercourse for at least 1 week, or longer as advised by your doctor. When you start having sexual intercourse again, make sure you use birth control and condom to prevent infection.
Care Ater Undergoing Surgical Abortion
After the surgical abortion, the OB-GYN will check your vital signs such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure to make sure that everything is normal.
After that, the OB-GYN checks the bleeding is not excessive and uterine contractions are normal. The OB-GYN also checks that the side effects from anesthesia are not causing problems.
The OB-GYN may also prescribe you certain medicines. This may include the following:-
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Medicines that cause uterine contractions to empty the uterus and reduce bleeding.
- The OB-GYN gives Rh immunoglobulin to all the women who have Rh-negative blood type as it prevents Rh sensitization after abortion.
- Pain medicines for pain and cramping caused by uterine contractions.
Apart from all that, the OB-GYN may also prescribe certain medicines to treat nausea and vomiting.
Care At Home After Surgical Abortion
After undergoing a surgical abortion, you should follow all the instructions given by your OB-GYN.
Also, you should talk to your doctor about what to expect at home after undergoing a surgical abortion.
You can follow these instructions:-
- You can return to your daily routine within 1-2 days of the surgical abortion.
- Avoid all strenuous physical activities for the first week of your abortion.
- Don’t have sexual intercourse for at least one week or longer as advised by your doctor.
- When you start your sexual intercourse, use birth control and condoms to prevent the risk of infection and unwanted pregnancy.
- Don’t rinse the vagina with fluids (douche) as it increases the risk of infections that can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.
You may experience certain symptoms after undergoing a surgical abortion, including irregular bleeding, spotting, and/or cramping for the first 1-2 weeks. Some women may have cramping such as menstrual cramping for as long as 6 weeks.
When to visit your doctor after surgical abortion
If you experience any of the following symptoms or complications after undergoing a surgical abortion, you should immediately contact your OB-GYN and discuss your problems:-
- If heavy bleeding continues for more than 12 hours.
- If your bleeding is soaking more than two large pads in an hour, for 2 hours in a row.
- Passing clots that last for two or more hours.
- Signs of infections in your whole body include headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general feeling of illness.
- Excruciating pain in the belly is not relieved by pain medicine, rest, or heat.
- Hot flushes or fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher lasts more than 4 hours.
- Vomiting lasting more than 4-6 hours.
- Sudden belly swelling or increased heart rate.
- Swelling, redness, or pain in the genital region.
- Vaginal discharge that has increased in volume or smells bad.
Call your OB-GYN immediately if you have any of these symptoms after undergoing a surgical abortion:-
- Bleeding (not spotting) for longer than two weeks.
- New or unexplained symptoms may occur due to medicines you use in your treatment
- No menstrual period within six weeks after the abortion.
- Signs and symptoms of depression. Hormonal changes after abortion may cause depression that requires proper treatment.