Possible complications post-procedure.
Abdominal pain should subside a few days after your procedure. However if the pain persists, does not improve or if it returns a week or more after your procedure, this could signal that you have an infection. If it is accompanied by a smelly vaginal discharge, raised temperature or flu-like symptoms, an infection is very likely the cause.
Very occasionally, especially in the early stages, the pregnancy tissue may be missed during the procedure. You should contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707 if symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness persist more than one week after your procedure, or if you do not experience a period within six weeks. If the pregnancy tissue is still in place, a second procedure will be performed free of charge.
If you have any of these signs please contact your Marie Stopes International centre or see your doctor. Appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed if necessary. Please inform the doctor if you are taking the contraceptive pill, as some pills can be affected by antibiotics.
Retained pregnancy tissue or clot after the procedure. There is a risk that a tiny fragment of tissue may be left in the uterus, which can cause heavy or prolonged bleeding and can increase the risk of an infection developing. This is known as an incomplete abortion and any of the symptoms listed in the “Warning Signs” above can indicate this may have happened. If this is the case, you may require a repeat procedure at your Marie Stopes International centre, provided to you at no cost. If you do experience any of the warning signs, please contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707 or your doctor.
Remember If symptoms persist, it is important to return to us or visit your doctor. If your problem is urgent please contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707. If the doctor has recommended that you return for a check up or further tests, it is very important to keep the appointment.
Your doctor will have discussed with you if there is a concern regarding ectopic pregnancy (details about ectopic pregnancy are covered in the “Abortion Your Questions Answered” brochure). As discussed with the doctor, ectopic pregnancy can be a very dangerous condition if left untreated. The doctor will have advised you of any further tests or follow up appointments made for you, which are very important to attend. If you experience any abdominal pain or tenderness that changes in nature, especially towards one side of your abdomen rather than a “tummy ache”, you must seek immediate help. If you have any concerns at all, please contact us.
If you would like to discuss your experience or you have unresolved feelings or emotions about the procedure, we have people available you can talk to. Please contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707 or speak to your doctor for advice on who to talk to.
For aftercare assistance please phone:
1800 003 707 (24 hours)
or visit our website at
Marie Stopes International aims to provide the best possible service to our clients and your feedback is very important to us. If you have any suggestions about improvements we could make to our information, or other aspects of our service, please use the Client Feedback Form that you are given at the centre, or speak to a Marie Stopes International team member. If you are not satisfied with any aspect of the service provided by Marie Stopes International and wish to make a formal complaint, the Centre Manager will give your complaint their urgent attention, carry out an investigation and respond to you. Should you be dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint, it will be referred to the CEO – Australia. © 2007 Marie Stopes International. Copyright in this work is owned by Marie Stopes International. The reproduction of this work is expressly prohibited without the author’s prior consent. MI0344-09/09
Menstruation and contraception following the procedure.
Possible symptoms post-procedure.
To ensure a speedy recovery following your procedure, please take the time to read this important information.
Your period should resume four to eight weeks following the procedure. Please remember that even if you have not had your period, an egg will still be released, so it is possible for you to fall pregnant again before your next period.
Below is a list of the most common side effects you may experience following the procedure:
As soon as you feel well enough after the procedure, you can: • take a shower; and • resume gentle exercise. To reduce the risk of getting an infection, for the next one week you:• must not insert anything in your vagina, including fingers or tampons. Do not use tampons until your next period; • must not have vaginal intercourse; and • should return to your normal activity as soon as your body will allow.
It is therefore essential that you use a reliable form of contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancy from the first time you have sexual intercourse following your procedure. For information on the most suitable form of contraception available to you, refer to the Marie Stopes International brochure, “Contraception: A guide to help you choose”, or speak to your doctor. You should also note that a home pregnancy test can be misleading following the procedure. This is because the hormone HCG, which determines a positive or negative test reading, can remain in the body for several weeks post-procedure. It is advisable to see your doctor for a precautionary check up two to three weeks following your procedure, to ensure all is well. If you are unsure or need further clarification on any aspect of the procedure or aftercare, or have any queries about contraception, please contact the Marie Stopes International National Support Centre, open 24 hours, on Freecall 1800 003 707.
Pain/cramps You may experience abdominal cramping or contraction-like pain. To ease the discomfort firstly try uterine massage (as per instruction in fact sheet), followed by abdominal hot pack and/or mild over the counter painkillers, such as Naprogesic®, Panadeine® or Nurofen®. Do not use aspirin as this can increase bleeding.
Bleeding You may experience intermittent vaginal bleeding either directly after or up to two weeks following the procedure. Bleeding differs for each person, however it is not normally heavy and may be accompanied by some abdominal cramping or blood clotting. In some women, bleeding and cramping may increase somewhat four to five days after the procedure, which may persist for up to three to four days. This is quite normal and, although this is not your first period, it should not be unlike your normal period. To ease any discomfort, take a mild, over the counter painkiller. If you are unsure or at all concerned, please do not hesitate to contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707.
Possible complications post-procedure.
Breast discomfort It is not uncommon to have symptoms of breast tenderness for at least two weeks following your procedure. For some women, particularly those at a later gestation period (more than twelve weeks), it is also quite usual for your breasts to become fuller and leak a little fluid for a few days. Do not squeeze your breasts as this will only make things more uncomfortable for you. Instead, try wearing a support bra. Oral mild painkillers may also assist. If your breasts are still sore after two weeks, please contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707.
Prior to the procedure, your Marie Stopes International doctor will have explained to you all of the possible risks associated with termination of pregnancy, as outlined in the Marie Stopes International “Procedure Risk Information” sheet. Although unlikely, the main risks that may occur following the procedure include infection, retained pregnancy tissue or clot, continued or ectopic pregnancy. It is advisable to contact your Marie Stopes International centre if you have any of these warning signs: • excessive bleeding, that is, soaking through a super pad every half hour for 2 hours; • bleeding that you consider to be much heavier than your normal period, which has lasted continually for more than two days; • persistent pain or cramps continuing for more than two days; • abdominal pain or tenderness that changes in nature, especially towards one side of your abdomen rather than a “tummy ache”; • persistent blood clotting; • a smelly vaginal discharge; • a raised temperature or flu-like feeling;
If you have suffered from nausea either in the morning or at any other time of day prior to your procedure, you will probably find the nausea ceases within 24 hours following the procedure. However, if two weeks after the procedure you still continue to feel sick, please contact us on Freecall 1800 003 707 for advice.
• sickness or breast soreness that has continued for more than one week following the procedure; or • absence of a normal period six weeks following the procedure.