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A number of women who have had an abortion or a miscarriage often complain of a number of problems. Abortion though is a very safe procedure when carried out during the very early stages of pregnancy and when done via a reputed clinic. Occurrences of problems after an abortion are very rare as the doctor often prescribes antibiotics for healing and to reduce any chances or signs of infection after abortion, which again are very low. But, there are cases when infections have occurred and hence it is always wise to look out for some warning signs of infection after abortion.
What Does It Mean To Have An Incomplete Abortion?
Before we go ahead and learn more about the warning signs of infections after an abortion, it is important you know what an incomplete abortion is all about. In simple terms, an incomplete abortion is a condition where the abortion is not complete and some of the products related to the pregnancy are present in the uterus even after the procedure is complete. This normally occurs when there is a miscarriage which means that the abortion occurs without the knowledge of the woman.
Warning Signs of Infection After Abortion
As mentioned earlier, it is very rare for any medical problem to arise after an abortion, but if you observe any of the below-mentioned symptoms, it is time you seek immediate medical help. These are also the warning signs of infection after abortion that you need to look out for;
1. Heavy Bleeding
Though heavy bleeding is common after an abortion, it should not be prolonged. If you have bleeding that soaks up more than 2-3 pads in less than 2 hours. It is time you certainly need to call your doctor.
2. Pain With Cramping For More Than 4-5 Days
It is common for women to experience cramps after an abortion and these can at times last for about 2 weeks and they occur on and off. Your doctor might suggest some painkillers to relieve you of the pain and you can as well use a heating pad to ease out any pain for discomfort. In case following the above steps does not provide relief, you need to see your doctor immediately. One of the causes of pain can be an infection. The other symptoms you need to check for in such a situation are fever and chills, smelly discharge from the vagina, and general lethargy.
3. Very High Temperature
If you have very high temperatures, it is very likely that you have an infection. In such cases, you can immediately take paracetamol and consult your doctor. The clinic might run some tests to confirm if you have an infection or not. You also need to take a lot of fluids in such a case.
4. Unwell or Feeling Dizzy
Women normally do not show any hormonal changes for at least a week to ten days after having an abortion. After an abortion, your body comes back to normal and this is the time when most women complain of headaches or feeling very hot or very cold. However, if you are feeling very unwell or have a feeling of fainting, you need to see your GP immediately. Your doctor might prescribe some antibiotics for abortion infection.
5. Pain or Discomfort in The Abdomen
If you are having severe pain or even discomfort in the tummy, it can be due to a very serious complication and the chances of infection cannot be ruled out.
Causes of Infection After Abortion
The chances of an infection after an abortion are very low. But as mentioned, an infection can occur due to various reasons and some of them are listed below;
- There can be a chance of infection if the abortion has been performed by doctors who are not qualified enough.
- When the abortion has been performed in a traditional way and not in a clinic or a medical setting.
- Chances of infection are high if the abortion is performed during the advanced stage of pregnancy.
- Infection can also occur if the woman uses any devices internally. Some of the examples of such devices are tampons or douche.
- Women who have an existing sexual disease like Chlamydia or gonorrhea are at high risk of infection after an abortion.
- Infection after abortion discharge is also common.
- Infection in the womb can also cause problems after an abortion.
- Incomplete abortion can also cause infections.
When any one of the above conditions exists, there are chances of having an infection after the abortion procedure is completed.
How To Avoid Infection After Abortion?
It is important to know that every medical procedure does have some risks. But there are certain precautions you can take to avoid complications. Always make sure you have someone along when you go for the procedure of abortion. Make sure you get it done by a professional and qualified doctor. Make sure you do not put anything in the vagina until you have one regular period after the abortion. You also need to take the medications prescribed, especially the antibiotics to avoid any complications. Do not consume alcohol or go smoking until your back to normal.
Also, women who had an abortion need to avoid taking bubble baths or going swimming. Also in case you have had repeated abortions, you need to know that the risk is high for infection. Hence it is good to use preventive measures than opting for an abortion every time.
How To Treat Infection After Abortion?
Infection after an abortion is a medical emergency and very immediate treatment is necessary in a number of cases. Make sure you always look for signs of infection after abortion and seek medical help as soon as you see some. Women who have an infection can at times be hospitalized and any retained products of pregnancy are taken off from the uterus. Secondly, the patient is put on antibiotics as they help prevent any further infections.