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Infection is a risk after both medical and surgical abortion. Knowing the signs and symptoms is critical so you can seek medical help as soon as possible.

Here are the warning signs of infection after both medical and surgical abortion.

1. Foul-Smelling Vaginal Discharge

Normal vaginal discharge is typically white, off-white, or clear. It also can have an odor, but not strong, unpleasant, or foul. If you smell something fishy or foul, you may have a vaginal infection. Also, a dark yellow, brown, green, or gray color could indicate infection. 

Foul-smelling vaginal discharge is one sign that is difficult to ignore and should alert you to follow up with your doctor or seek medical care.

2. A Fever

If your oral temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above, it’s a fever. While fevers can be signs of all kinds of illnesses, from Covid-19 to the flu, they can also indicate an infection after abortion. 

Talk with your doctor if your fever lasts more than 24 hours after a medical abortion or if you have a fever after a surgical abortion.

According to the Mayo Clinic, adults with fevers reaching 103 degrees Fahrenheit should call their medical providers.

3. Heavy Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding happens with both abortion procedures, except in different amounts. 

In a medical abortion, misoprostol triggers the uterus to contract, causing vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping. If you soak two or more pads an hour for two hours, it’s time to seek medical attention. 

In a surgical abortion, you may experience spotting or light bleeding for a few days after the procedure. However, if you bleed enough to fill one pad an hour, seek medical care. 

4. Abdominal Cramping

Abdominal cramping happens during a medical abortion when your uterus contracts. However, if the cramping turns into severe abdominal or back pain, you should call your doctor.

In a surgical abortion, follow up with the health provider if you’re experiencing cramping 48 hours after the procedure. While cramping is a side effect, cramping for two days is a long time and could indicate an issue. 

Also, alert your doctor if you have pain that gets worse instead of better, lightheadedness, or dizziness.

Take Care of Yourself

Knowing the signs of infection is critical so you can receive medical care quickly. 

Before considering an abortion, you should learn the facts and receive an ultrasound to learn essential details about your pregnancy, such as how far along you are (gestational age), if you miscarried or not, and where your pregnancy is located.

Schedule a free and confidential appointment for medical-grade pregnancy testing and a limited ultrasound. You can talk with a knowledgeable nurse and ask any questions you have. We’re here to help!

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