There can be consequences of an abortion that could be cause for concern, so a woman should know exactly what she is to expect after the procedure: how long will the period after abortion last; what is normal and what is abnormal bleeding, when a woman should next expect her period and so on.
It is important to follow instructions from the doctors about the dos and don’ts after the abortion, and also to understand what is normal, what is abnormal and when to call an ambulance!
What is a normal period after abortion?
The bleeding that occurs after an abortion will typically last anything between 3 days to 5 weeks after the event. At no point should be any heavier than a normal period at it heaviest.
There can also be pain and some amount of cramping during this period; however this also should be no worse and no more severe than a normal monthly period pain.
There may be some amount of clots passed along with the blood; this is normal so long as the clots are about the size of a grape or thereabouts. Large clots however are a warning sign that all is not well and should receive immediate medical attention.
Also at no time should the period after abortion get any heavier. It should get progressively lighter and not any heavier. Any increase in the amount of bleeding, or any indication of fresh bleeding (if the color of the blood changes to a bright red) is something should be checked out; and in the meantime, some rest and relaxation is in order.
What is an abnormal period after abortion?
A period that is heavier than a normal period or which causes extreme pain or cramping (more than a normal period) is usually cause for concern. An increase in the bleeding or any fresh bleeding could be a sign that you have been overdoing it or that your body has not had sufficient time to heal after the abortion.
The size of clots passed is also important: very large clots during the period after abortion are problematic as is any discharge of tissue. Any foul smelling discharge is also abnormal and should be seen to.
Some pain is normal, but swelling and tenderness in the abdomen is probably not. Many women experience some amount of milk discharge from the breast after abortion; this is the body’s normal reaction to no longer being pregnant; this will disappear in time.
However any other symptoms of a continuing pregnancy should be reported immediately. It may be that the abortion was incomplete and some fetal tissue was retained in the uterus which is required to be removed.
There could be another complication with regard to the period after abortion: in rare cases, tissue that is supposed to be ejected from the uterus blocks the cervix and prevents the passage of the blood. This is called hematometra or post abortion syndrome and there could be severe cramping as the blood is unable to be expelled.
This could happen immediately or a little later after the abortion.