Waking Up and Going Home
After-care for a surgical termination is undertaken in the clinic. You will be kept for about 60 to 90 minutes after your procedure while you wake from the light anaesthetic. You will be provided with some light refreshment for after the procedure, or you are welcome to bring in your own drinks and snacks, for afterwards, provided you remain fasted before the procedure. You will be provided with simple pain relief if necessary and given detailed instructions about what to expect, who to make contact with if you have any questions, and details about contraception. You will likely be given a prescription for a single dose of antibiotics to take on the evening of your procedure.
When you get home, do not drink any alcohol and do not do any vigorous exercise—try to just have a quiet day. However, we recommend that you try to resume your normal life rather than just taking to bed. A short, gentle walk on the day of the procedure is recommended.
Although you should feel relatively normal, you shouldn’t drive for 24 hours following a surgical termination of pregnancy procedure. For the following two weeks, you should refrain from having anything in the vagina, including sexual intercourse, tampons, and swimming, baths, or spas of any sort. This will help reduce the risk of infection.
During the following two weeks you may have some light bleeding which may start or stop, and you may have some light cramps which should resolve with the assistance of simple painkillers.
Two to three weeks after your termination we recommend a post-termination check which can be undertaken with your local GP or at Clinic 66 in Chatswood, Sydney. This is to ensure that you have made a complete recovery both physically and emotionally and that you are happy with your choice of contraception or if you need further advice regarding this.
We are able to make arrangements for further assistance, such as counselling, if required. However, most women feel much better having undergone their surgical termination because once their mind is made up and they’ve had their procedure, then they can start to put the episode behind them.
After-Care for Medical Termination of Pregnancy
For a medical termination of pregnancy, there will be some initial pain and bleeding after the second lot of tablets, and then you may continue to bleed until the review visit two to three weeks later. At this time, we strongly encourage you to reattend to Clinic 66 to ensure that the medical termination has been successful and that there is no tissue remaining, that you have recovered completely, and that you are happy with your choice of contraception. You will be given a form for a follow up blood test at the time the medication is prescribed, for 2 weeks after the medical termination has occurred. You may also have an ultrasound scan performed when you attend for follow up.
It is possible to undertake remote follow up e.g. for women who live a long way away. Your prescribing doctor will discuss follow up arrangements with you when you attend for the medical termination.
For women who have undergone medical termination of pregnancy we would recommend that they do not put anything in the vagina for two to three weeks following the medical termination until they have been reviewed by a doctor.
IUDs and Other Contraception Options
It is possible to have an IUD (intrauterine device) inserted at the post-termination check. However, we would normally require a formal ultrasound prior to inserting an IUD to ensure that the uterus is entirely empty.
It is possible to have an implant inserted at the time of medical termination or at the follow-up two to three weeks later.
If an implant or IUD is not the preferred option, then we will discuss other options and ensure that you have reliable contraception to enable you to prevent further unplanned pregnancies.
After the post-termination check for both medical and surgical terminations, there is no further follow-up required, and you should be aware that you could fall pregnant straight away, and therefore we strongly encourage all women to use reliable contraception until they are ready to have a pregnancy that they have planned.