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Understanding the Risk of Infection After an Abortion

All medical procedures come with a small risk of complications. Although most women won’t experience any issues after an abortion, some will have side effects that require treatment.

Side Effects of Abortion

Abortion is a very safe procedure that rarely causes serious side effects, especially when the termination is performed early in the pregnancy.

Most women will experience some soreness and tiredness after the procedure. You should also expect to bleed for 1-2 weeks after an abortion. The bleeding shouldn’t be much heavier than a period and it should get lighter over time.

Some women do experience more serious complications after abortions. The main risk is infection, which can happen after both medical and surgical abortions. Infections happen when germs such as bacteria get into your body. Abortions can make it easier for germs to get in. Infections can also develop is any material is left behind in the womb after the abortion.

Signs of Infection After an Abortion

You should be aware of the signs of infection after abortion so that you can contact your doctor if you notice anything unusual. Possible symptoms of an infection include:

  • Fever
  • Unusual or smelly discharge
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Bleeding more than expected
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If you notice any of these symptoms or you have other concerns after an abortion then you should contact Mr Michael Stafford. Most infections are mild and easy to treat, but they can cause serious problems if you don’t get the right care. If your symptoms are very severe (for example you have a very high fever) then you can also go to your nearest hospital to get help immediately.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

If an infection in your reproductive system isn’t treated properly, it can develop into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause symptoms such as abdominal or pelvic pain, bleeding between periods, pain during sex, vaginal discharge, and urinary problems. You could also have a fever or feel chills. In severe cases, PID can cause extreme abdominal pain, vomiting, very high fevers, and symptoms of shock, such as fainting.

Untreated PID can cause serious problems. You could develop abscesses and be in a lot of pain. If your fallopian tubes are damaged they can become blocked by scar tissue, which could make it harder for you to get pregnant and more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy. About 1 in 10 women who are affected by PID will develop fertility problems, usually when the treatment was delayed or if they have had multiple infections.

Preventing Infections After Abortions

It is possible to reduce the risk of developing an infection after abortion:

  • Get tested and treated for any STIs before the procedure
  • Avoid having sex for a couple of weeks after the abortion or until the bleeding has stopped
  • Don’t use tampons for bleeding after an abortion, stick with pads instead

Treating Infections After Abortions

If you do notice signs of an infection after an abortion then it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Most infections can easily be cleared up with antibiotics. You should start to feel better soon after you start taking the medication.

If you develop PID after an abortion (or for any other reason) then there are treatments that can help. You can be prescribed antibiotics for a couple of weeks to get rid of the infection itself. You might need to have an injection of antibiotics as well as some tablets. You might also need additional treatment to address the effects of PID. You may need to see a gynaecologist or another specialist to have these treatments.

Complications of PID can be treated by:

  • Surgery to drain fluid from large or painful abscesses
  • Surgery to correct clocked or damaged fallopian tubes, which can help you to conceive naturally and reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy after PID
  • Fertility treatments to help you to have a baby if you aren’t able to conceive naturally. IVF treatment can remove the eggs directly from your ovaries so that they don’t have to pass through the fallopian tubes.

Although serious complications after an abortion are very rare, it’s important to be aware of the risks so that you can seek help if you need it. If you’re worried about signs of infection after an abortion then you can always contact your doctor at 132 Healthwise.

077 0832 3025