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After my abortion

If you have any questions or are unsure about anything after your abortion treatment, please call our Aftercare helpline.

Call:

0300 333 68 28 from Northern Ireland

+44 1789 508 210 from the Republic of Ireland

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

You can also call for advice from the clinic where you had your treatment (during opening hours). The number is written in the front of your copy of "My BPAS guide".

Free medical and counselling services are available in Ireland for women who've had an abortion. These services are funded by the Crisis Pregnancy Agency. The counsellors and doctors working in these services are experienced in supporting women who have had an abortion. Services are free of charge to all women, regardless of their age, income or where they live. Click here to visit the Crisis Pregnancy Agency Aftercare Website.

What to expect

Recovery after an uncomplicated abortion usually happens fairly quickly, but is different for every woman. There are some things to expect which are normal and other signs and symptoms which are not. It's important that you know about both.

Bleeding

Most women bleed for around one to two weeks after an abortion. It is best to use sanitary towels during this time. You should expect the bleeding to be like a normal menstrual period. You may also pass some small blood clots. In most cases the bleeding will then stop, but you may experience spotting until your next period. Following a surgical abortion, a few women will not experience bleeding until their next period is due.

If your bleeding soaks 2 or more sanitary towels per hour for 2 hours in a row, then you should contact the clinic, or aftercare line urgently for advice. If you cannot call, go to A&E.

Pain

Most women experience cramping off and on for about a week after an abortion. You can take painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol if needed.

If you have pain that is more severe or isn't controlled by pain medicine, you should contact the Aftercare helpline.

Physical symptoms to look out forĀ 

  • Lasting pain
  • Discoloured or smelly vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell or still feeling pregnant
  • Continuous and heavy bleeding that soaks two or more pads in an hour for two hours in a row

If you have any of these, you should phone the BPAS clinic where you had your treatment or the Aftercare Line immediately. Alternatively you should go to A&E or see your GP urgently.

Feelings After abortion

Most women feel relieved, but some can feel sad or guilty.

For more information on free counselling in Ireland with counsellors who are experienced in supporting women who have had abortions click here.