Updated on 12 May 2023
The decision to have an abortion is never an easy one. It's a deeply personal and emotional journey that can leave a lasting impact on a woman's life. While the physical pain and discomfort of the procedure may fade with time, the emotional pain can linger for years. And for some women, the pain doesn't end there. Breast pain after abortion is a common symptom that can be both physically and emotionally draining.
In this article, we'll understand what causes breast pain after abortion, is it normal, how long does breast pain last after abortion and effective pain relief methods.
Yes, breast pain after an abortion is completely normal. Hormonal changes can cause decreased estrogen levels, which can lead to soreness and discomfort in the breasts. It may take 1-2 weeks for the body to reestablish its regular hormone balance, which can also cause breast tenderness. If the pregnancy was more advanced, the breasts may feel tense and sore for a while after the termination.
Besides breast pain, women may experience vaginal bleeding and pain, as well as hormonal symptoms such as nausea and cramping. The next period may be irregular. These symptoms are common after both surgical and medical abortions, though the severity and duration may vary. It's important to note that self-care after an abortion is crucial, as individuals may experience a range of physical and emotional reactions.
Breast pain after an abortion may last for about a week or two. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it is more common if the abortion was done through medication. However, if the pain persists beyond this timeframe, it could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, and you should consult a healthcare provider immediately. It is also important to note that breast tenderness and swelling can increase if you return to increased activity, such as going back to work. It is advisable to take proper self-care and seek medical attention if the pain is severe or persists beyond two weeks after an abortion.
Below are some of the most effective methods to help ease breast pain after abortion:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most common forms of pain relief for breast pain after abortion. Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. These medications work by reducing inflammation, which can help reduce pain. It's important to read the instructions carefully before taking any NSAIDs, and one must consult their doctor with their concerns or questions.
Women's breasts can be tender after an abortion, so it's essential to wear a bra that provides support and comfort. Cotton bras are the most recommended for this purpose, providing the most breathable fabric and comfort.
Relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with breast pain after an abortion. These activities can help to reduce pain and restore balance in the body. Additionally, one can combine these techniques with other pain relief methods for greater effectiveness.
Here is a list of dietary suggestions a woman can follow to minimize her breast pain after abortion:
To alleviate breast tenderness, it's advisable to consume a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and beans while minimizing animal fat intake. Such a diet enables your body to efficiently break down the surplus estrogen it produces. The quicker the excess estrogen is metabolized, the faster the breast tenderness will diminish.
Consuming these vitamins can aid in regulating the hormone prolactin, which is produced during pregnancy to prepare breasts for lactation. By including these vitamins in your diet, you can support the regulation of prolactin and help restore your body's natural balance. Examples of such foods include oranges, spinach, broccoli, almonds, oats, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin E has been found to reduce pain and discomfort in the breasts after an abortion. Taking a Vitamin E supplement for two weeks may help reduce the swelling and pain associated with the procedure. It is advised that a woman should speak to her doctor before taking any supplements, as there may be potential side effects or interactions with other medications.
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Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, flaxseed and walnuts, can help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling in the breasts. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids help to promote skin health and may also help to reduce cramping, which is common after an abortion.
Primrose oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce breast inflammation and pain after an abortion. Taking primrose oil supplements for two weeks may help reduce swelling, pain and discomfort associated with the procedure.
Avoiding caffeine and nicotine can be beneficial for reducing the discomfort associated with breast pain after an abortion. Both of these substances are stimulants, which can increase anxiety and alertness, making it difficult to relax and reduce pain.
Consuming a diet high in salt can result in water retention, exacerbating swelling in already tender breast tissue. To alleviate this, it is recommended to reduce your intake of salt by avoiding heavily processed foods, fast food, and table salt for a period of two weeks to allow your body to adjust.
You may also like: 8 Steps to Help You Recover Emotionally from the Loss of Your Baby
In conclusion, breast pain after abortion can be a difficult experience to go through. It can be emotionally and physically painful, but there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Whether it's through the use of pain relief medications or natural remedies, it's important to take care of yourself and seek medical attention if the pain persists. Remember, you are not alone in this experience, and there is no shame in seeking help. Take the time to heal and be kind to yourself.
1. Nyboe Andersen A, Damm P, Tabor A, Pedersen IM, Harring M. (1990). Prevention of breast pain and milk secretion with bromocriptine after second-trimester abortion. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand.
2. Beaman J, Prifti C, Schwarz EB, Sobota M. (2020). Medication to Manage Abortion and Miscarriage. J Gen Intern Med.
3. Sereshti M, Nahidi F, Simbar M, Bakhtiari M, Zayeri F. (2016). An Exploration of the Maternal Experiences of Breast Engorgement and Milk Leakage after Perinatal Loss. Glob J Health Sci.
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