Taking care of yourself after a termination

Taking care of yourself after a termination

Medical check-ups after a termination, as well as post-termination counselling, are available free of charge in Well Woman. Please visit our Book an Appointment page to arrange a counsultation. We acknowledge the support of the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme in supporting these services.

Post termination medical check-ups in Well Woman

If you terminate your pregnancy, Well Woman recommends that you return to us for a medical check-up two to three weeks after your return to Ireland. The check-up has three elements:

Confirming the pregnancy has ended

Firstly, we will confirm that the pregnancy has been terminated – most women will be able to make a clear distinction between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ symptoms. Nausea and breast tenderness tend to disappear within a day or two of the termination. Pregnancy tests are not helpful because they can often show positive for several weeks after the pregnancy has ended.

Very occasionally there may be some doubt as to whether or not the pregnancy is continuing. In that case, we will refer you for an ultrasound scan.

Bleeding pattern

Secondly, we will confirm that the bleeding pattern after the termination is within normal limits, and that there is no evidence of infection. Bleeding after a termination can vary between being very light and being so heavy that you may pass blood clots. Heavy bleeding usually settles after a few days but light bleeding or “spotting” may continue for several weeks. Crampy period pain may happen for the first few days after a termination.

If an infection is present, the pain and bleeding do not settle. Most clinics in the UK prescribe antibiotics for one week after the termination, but sometimes a different antibiotic may be needed. We can prescribe this at the post termination check.

Contraception

Thirdly, we will discuss with you your future contraceptive needs.

Our doctor or nurse will take a short medical history – previous illnesses, allergies, medication, recent antibiotics taken. We will check your blood pressure, and possibly check your abdomen to make sure there is no tenderness. Internal examinations are not necessary unless bleeding is very heavy. A cervical smear test is not usually done for at least a few months after a termination.

Post-termination counselling in Well Woman

Every woman who has experienced a termination will have different emotions.

It is possible to feel relief, anger, guilt or sadness. The climate of silence in Ireland around the subject of termination may cause you to experience feelings of isolation.

In Well Woman we find that some women will be very clear they made the best or correct decision, some may regret the experience, while others struggle on alone hoping the feelings will go away.

Termination is not a simple matter of “right” or “wrong” and it is important to be able to talk openly about your feelings, as well as having appropriate support to work through any emotional pain or distress.

It is possible to take a very positive attitude to all that has happened, and gain personal insight.

If you have had a termination and would like to discuss your feelings – whether immediately afterwards or several years on – Well Woman offers sessions with highly trained and accredited professional counsellors in a confidential and supportive environment.

Post-termination counselling is also available to men who need to discuss their experience around abortion.