How do you know if you have a post-abortion infection?

Infections following medical abortions are very rare. If you feel weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever that lasts more than 24 hours or is higher than 100.4 F/ 38 C, pain in your belly, if your belly feels sore or tender, if you bleed a lot or for a long time, or if you have vaginal discharge that smells bad, you might have an infection and you should go to a doctor immediately. The infection should be treated with antibiotics.

A fever that starts soon after Misoprostol administration and lasts less than 24 hours and is less than 100.4 F/ 38 C is a common side effect. If the fever lasts longer than 24 hours or is greater than 100.4 F/38 C, you should seek medical attention.

Medical abortion is a safer alternative in places where surgical methods are dangerous for a woman’s health, or in places where the availability of safe abortion is restricted. The risk of infection is greater when a woman has a child than when she has a medical abortion.

More scientific information:
“Post-abortion infection is not well defined as one particular type of infection in studies of medical abortion 33 . The most common type of infection reported is endometritis, which is an infection of the lining of the uterus, and genital tract. It may involve infection of reproductive organs and the urinary system. Clostridium sordellii sepsis is another type of post-abortion infection that is extremely rare. Doctors analyzed one case in which a woman died from complications associated with Clostridium sordellii infection, and determined that even though the infection was associated with medical abortion, the case “does not alter the overall proven safety of medical abortions induced with Mifepristone and Misoprostol 11 . Clostridium sordellii can also cause fatal infections in women who have just given birth 39 . It is not an infection that only affects women having medical abortions.

Clostridium sordellii specifically called attention to the somewhat unusual and rather distinctive signs and symptoms associated with these infections — an absence of fever but the presence of refractory hypotension, hemoconcentration, effusions in multiple serous cavities, and dramatic leukocytosis. A Canadian woman died in 2001 of the same bacterial infection under similar circumstances. Disturbing aspects of the cases described by Fischer et al. in this issue of the Journal (pages 2352–2360) include the following: all the women were young and healthy; they had apparently successful procedures (there was no evidence on autopsy of retained products of conception); their clinical presentations were somewhat cryptic because they had cramping, which is very common after the procedure, and no fever; and they all died remarkably rapidly after presentation. As tragic as the deaths of these young, healthy women are, they remain a small number of rare events without a clear pathophysiologic link to the method of termination. Patients should be informed of this risk before they consent to the procedure and should be vigilant for symptoms after the procedure. 62

“Most medical abortion studies have reported no infections, although a few have mentioned isolated cases 26 . 10 cases of infection were reported out of 80,000 women who had medical abortions using Mifepristone in the United States 15 . A group of researchers reviewed many medical studies and concluded, “Infection after medical abortion procedures is an infrequent event, occurring in <1% of over 46,400 cases, substantially lower than the frequency of infection after surgical abortion 33 . They also stated, “… the overall frequency of reported infection after medical abortion procedures (0.92%) is lower than that reported after either surgical abortion procedures or childbirth 33 .

Help me, I have an unwanted pregnancy, what can I do?

If you live in a country where it is permitted to have abortion safe and…

What is a medical abortion?

A medical abortion uses a medicine or a combination of tablets to cause the non

Is it difficult to use Misoprostol by yourself?

No. You can take Misoprostol on your own. Using Misoprostol is no more…

Paano gamitin ang misoprostol?

Kinakailangan ang isang babae ay bumili ng mahigit kumulang sa 12 tableta ng…

How can I get Misoprostol?

Instead of using Misoprostol alone it is much more effective (99%) to do a…

Which brand of misoprostol should I use and can different brand names can be used together?

Misoprostol alone has the following brand names: Cytotec (200µg Misoprostol…

Which type of pill containing Misoprostol is the most effective to cause an abortion?

All brands are effective. The most important thing is that the pills contain…

I cannot get Misoprostol. Could you please send them to me?

If you live in a country where there is no access to safe and legal abortion…

I am more than 12 weeks pregnant and can travel; where can I find clinics that can help?

Late abortions are available in the following countries: England Abortions up…

Can Misoprostol be used if you have Chlamydia?

An infection with Chlamydia is one of the main causes of infertility and must…

Are there injections that could end my pregnancy?

The only injection that can successfully end a pregnancy is methotrexate. This…

What is Methotrexate?

Methotrexate can be used to induce an abortion in combination with Misoprostol…

Do antibiotiocs have an effect on the contraceptive pill and/or Misoprostol?

Antibiotics can diminish the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill as it may…

Does Provera (a progesteron) help to induce an abortion?

No it does not. Provera does not contain a working substance to make the womb…

How do you know if you are pregnant and how long you have been pregnant for?

Most women determine that they are pregnant if they are sexually active and…

How many weeks into your pregnancy can you do a medical abortion?

You can do a medical abortion at home until the 12th week of your pregnancy.

I've been pregnant for more than 12 weeks. Can I still use Misoprostol?

Misoprostol still works after 12 weeks of pregnancy but the chance of…

I am 20 weeks pregnant; can I use Misoprostol?

Misoprostol should never be used after 20 weeks pregnancy. The fetus is able to…

What if you are not pregnant but take the medicines anyway?

Your health will not be harmed if you are not pregnant but take the medicines…

What are hCG levels during pregnancy?

hCG levels in weeks from Last Menstrual Period : 3 weeks LMP: 5 - 50 mIU/ml 4…

What if you have a RH - bloodtype?

Usually doctors advice women who have an (surgical) abortion or miscariage or…

When you should not do a medical abortion?

You should not use the medicines if: someone is forcing you to end your…

What is a contraindication and how do you know if you have one?

Contraindications are conditions or situations might keep you from being able…

What is an ectopic pregnancy and how do you know you have one?

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that grows outside the womb, usually in a…

Can I have an abortion if I have an IUD?

An IUD is a contraceptive, a small coil of about 3 cm inserted by a doctor into…

Why shouldn't you be alone when you do a medical abortion and what if you do it alone anyway?

You are strongly advised to use the medicines in the presence of someone you…

Why should you be within 60 minutes of a hospital or first aid centre when you do the abortion?

It is absolutely necessary to be within one hour of help, in case you lose too…

What painkillers can you use?

NSAID's like Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Naproxen are the most effective…

Can (homeopathic) medication that decreases menstrual pain be used with Misoprostol?

Because some of these medications might counter the contractions of the womb…

How should you use Misoprostol (cytotec)?

You will need 12 pills of misoprostol, 200 micrograms (mcg) each. To cause an…

Are there other ways to use the Misoprostol?

We strongly advise you to use Misoprostol under your tongue. This way, no…

Can you use Misoprostol if you are still breastfeeding?

It is better not to breastfeed during the first 5 hours after taking…

Is it safe to have a medical abortion if you've already had one in the past?

Women are fertile for about 40 years. Some women need more than one abortion…

Can I take part of the Misoprostol/Cytotec orally and part vaginally. Is this effective?

We strongly advice women to use Misoprostol under the tongue (dissolve under…

Can you eat or drink while you are taking the medicines?

You should not drink any alcohol or use drugs, as it can affect your judgment.

When will you start bleeding and how long will it last?

After using Misoprostol you should expect bleeding and cramps. Bleeding usually…

Can you go to work while doing the abortion? For how long must you rest before returning to work?

It is best to take Misoprostol on the weekends or when you can rest for a bit.

I took the first dose of Misoprostol and started bleeding. Should I take the next doses?

Yes, you must take the next doses, despite the blood loss. Scientific research…

How much and what colour is the blood loss?

The general rule is that fresh blood is red and old blood is brown. While…

Can you see the products of the abortion (placenta, embryo, blood) and what should you do with them?

Most of the time women can see blood and tissue in their sanitary napkin or in…

What are the side effects of Misoprostol?

The medical abortion normally causes side effects such as pain and cramping, as…

I've used Misoprostol a few days ago and I'm still in a lot of pain. Is this normal?

If the treatment was successful, you should no longer have any pain, just blood…

I've used Misoprostol but the pregnancy test is still positive. What should I do?

Sometimes, pregnancy test are still positive 3 or 4 weeks after the abortion

What is a complete, successful abortion and how do you know you've had one?

A complete abortion means that the body has expelled all the products of…

How do you know if you have complications and what should you do?

If performed in the first 10 weeks, a medical abortion carries a very small…

How do you know if you have an incomplete abortion?

An incomplete abortion is an abortion that has only been partially successful.

What is a curettage/vacuum aspiration and is it necessary after medical abortion?

Vacuum aspiration (MVA)is a surgical intervention to remove the contents of the…

Can Misoprostol be detected in a blood test?

Misoprostol disappears from the blood after 12 hours, and it does not show up…

How do you know if you have a continuing pregnancy?

Continuing pregnancy is a pregnancy that continues to develop even after the…

What are the chances that the fetus will be malformed if you have an ongoing pregnancy?

If you have an ongoing pregnancy after using Misoprostol, the risk of having a…

Do you need to have an ultrasound after doing a medical abortion?

If you do not have symptoms of a complication, it is not necessary to have an…

Do you require psychological counseling after you have had an abortion?

Most women do not need any psychological help after an abortion. Feelings of…

What are the risks?

Many illegal abortions are unsafe and are carried out without proper…

I used Misoprostol, there was some blood loss but not that much, has the abortion been successful?

It is very difficult to determine whether an abortion has been successful and…

I used Misoprostol; bleeding is like during menstruation. Should I go to the hospital?

You do not have to go to a hospital, but you should get an ultrasound or do a…

Can you get pregnant again immediately after using Misoprostol?

Yes. You must immediately start taking precautions. For contraceptive methods…

Does medical abortion increase the risk of breast cancer?

No, having an induced abortion does not increase a woman’s chance of developing…

How long must you wait before starting to have sexual intercourse again after the abortion?

It is best to wait 4-7 days after taking the Misoprostol to have sexual…

Is a medical abortion dangerous?

Medical abortions performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy have a very low…

Will you be able to get pregnant and have children after a medical abortion?

A medical abortion does not affect your ability to conceive or bear a child in…

When can you get pregnant again after having a medical abortion?

Although it may be several weeks after your abortion before you get your…

How can you prevent a future unwanted pregnancy?

About 85% of sexually active women who do not use contraceptives become…

Where can I buy the abortion pill (RU 486, mifepristone, mifeprex, mifegyne, Zacafemyl)?

RU 486 (the abortion pill, Mifepristone, Mifegyne, Mifeprex, Zacafemyl)) is…

Do I have an infection?

Do I have an infection? A fever could indicate that you have an infection. If…

I've tried Misoprostol but had no or very little blood loss. Did the treatment work?

If you still do not bleed and you are positive that you were pregnant, then you…