Abortion Aftercare

Caring for your wellbeing after an abortion

It’s a good idea to rest and take it easy for a couple of days after an abortion. Most people have a smooth and quick recovery period, but if you have any worries you can call our Patient support line. Our nurse/midwife-led support Line is open 24 hours a day, including weekends and bank holidays. We are always here for you.

NUPAS Patient Support Line

From the UK:
0333 016 0400

From the Republic of Ireland:
(01) 874 0097

From All Other Countries:
+0044 161 4872660

Bleeding: What is Normal?

Bleeding can vary for each person and each abortion. It is important to wear sanitary towels suitable for a heavy flow to keep track of how much you bleed. We have described the type of bleeding that can be expected for medical and surgical abortions with some images to guide you below. If you are ever unsure if what you are experiencing is normal, call our Aftercare Line.


Pain: What is Normal?

You will have cramping and pain which can be severe for a short period time  during a medical abortion. You may have some pain and cramping after a surgical abortion. This cramping may feel like period pains. The pain can also be in your back, thighs and tops of your legs.

Understanding Complications

Serious complications have warning signs. If you have any of the symptoms listed below call our Patient Support Line straight away as they can (but not always) be a sign of infection or complication:

Flu-like symptoms such as a fever, high temperature and feeling shivery after your abortion, this could be a sign of infection or sepsis.

Abdominal (tummy) pain or discomfort that is not helped by pain relief medication, or by using a heat pad.

Vaginal discharge that smells unpleasant.

Very heavy bleeding. Soaking through more than 2 heavy-flow sanitary towels an hour for 2 hours in a row.

During a medical abortion - No bleeding, or only spotting or scant bleeding 48 hours after taking Misoprostol tablets.

If you have pregnancy symptoms 2 weeks after the abortion.

Features suggestive of sepsis and indicating the need for urgent intervention include:

Low Blood Pressure which may present in the form of light-headedness or dizziness, feeling sick, blurred vision, generally feeling weak, confusion and fainting.

Fast heart rate when not undertaking physical activities.

Increased breathing rate when not undertaking physical activities.

Call 999 or ask your support individual to phone for an ambulance immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

Loss of consciousness.

Severe allergic reaction such as facial, mouth, throat swelling or breathing difficulties.

Extreme heavy bleeding (flooding). Soaking through heavy-flow sanitary towels every 5 - 10 minutes and passing blood clots larger than the size of your hand.

Worsening pain in one side of the lower tummy, under the ribs, or up to the shoulders. This might indicate an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.

After Your Abortion

What Activities Can I Do After an Abortion?

After your abortion is complete, you can usually return to your normal activities as soon as you feel comfortable. Find out more about specific activities below.

Your Emotional Wellbeing

After having a TOP, it is normal to feel a wide range of emotions. Some women can feel sad, guilty, and upset, and others can feel relief. For most women, they will feel better after a few weeks. If you are struggling and needs some support, please give out patient support line a call, our clinicians can talk with you, and can book you to see our counsellors who specialise in abortion counselling both before and after treatment if you would like.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or self harm, please contact 999 or present to an emergency department.

Find out more about abortion aftercare from our useful Abortion Guide Booklet.

Get in touch with NUPAS

Give us a call:

United Kingdom:
0333 004 6666

Republic of Ireland:
(01) 874 0097

0044 161 4872660

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