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Effects of Surgical Abortion

by
author image Iva Gutowski
Iva Gutowski is a practicing nurse with health care experience since 2001. She has worked in the hospital setting on medical/surgical floors and critical care units. She has been a writer since 1999. Her experience includes articles for "The Asheville Citizen-Times," "The McDowell News," and "The Old Fort News." Gutowski holds a License Practical Nursing degree from McDowell Technical Community College
Effects of Surgical Abortion
Surgical abortion is usually completed in an outpatient facility. Photo Credit hospital surgery operating room image by alma_sacra from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Overview

Surgical abortion is performed by appropriately licensed physicians to end unwanted pregnancies. These procedures are typically performed in the first trimester, however may be performed throughout the entire pregnancy certain circumstances. Several symptoms are common after surgical abortion. If any of these symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention -- severe health complications can result if left untreated.

Pain and Nausea

Abdominal pain and stomach cramping are normal after a surgical abortion. This symptom for up to three weeks after the procedure. If pain is severe or prolonged, seek medical attention -- this can indicate injury, infection, or blood clots.

After a surgical abortion, pregnancy hormones immediately start to diminish. This rapid decrease can wreak havoc on the body. Nausea with or without vomiting is normal for one to three days and is not usually a cause for concern. If vomiting is severe or prolonged, dangerous dehydration can develop.

Feeling Faint

Many women feel faint immediately after having a surgical abortion. In large part, this is caused by hormonal changes, but also may be due to emotional responses to the procedure. A physician will typically require you to stay at the abortion clinic for a few hours to monitor your condition. Seek medical attention if this symptom persists -- it could be a sign of excessive blood loss.

Bleeding

The physician will expel all of the products of conception from the uterus. It is normal, however, to bleed for up to three weeks after the procedure. This should be similar to a normal menstrual flow and should lessen with each passing day. If bleeding continues past three weeks, or if it's so heavy it soaks through more than one pad per hour, seek medical attention. Excessive blood loss can result from injury during the procedure, and may be fatal if left untreated.

Infection

Physicians will often prescribe antibiotics as a precaution after surgical abortion, however infection is rare. Infection can cause damage to the reproductive organs or total body sepsis if left untreated. Typical symptoms include fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, excessive pain, and nausea with or without vomiting.

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