After your procedure, we want you to do well and rest at home. You may eat and drink without restrictions, although we recommend avoiding alcohol for 24 hours if you have received anesthesia.
If you had anesthesia (sedation), we recommend observing the following precautions for the next 24 hours:
- Do not drive.
- Avoid drinking alcohol as it could make you very sleepy.
- Don’t make any big or important decisions.
- Do not be left in charge of children.
- Try to have somebody you trust stay nearby.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
How active can I be? When can I go back to work?
You should go home and rest on the day of your procedure. You may resume normal activities, including work, in one to two days while avoiding any activity that causes increased pain.
You may resume exercise as soon as you feel ready, but start slowly — at least for the first week.
How long will I have bleeding?
You may bleed on and off for up to four weeks. You may experience:
- Irregular blood flow, with just light spotting or sometimes heavy flow with passage of clots
- Flow that stops altogether then restarts
- Color that appears red, brown, black or even yellow
- Clots that may appear dark purple and be fairly firm
When will I have my next menstrual period?
Your next period should begin in four to eight weeks from the day of your procedure. Your first few cycles may be irregular.
How long will it take for the nausea to go away?
Pregnancy symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion usually improve within one to three days.
When will my breast pain go away? Will my milk come in?
Breast tenderness may take seven to 10 days to disappear. Your breasts may feel firm and tender and may even leak fluid/milk after your procedure. We recommend that you:
- Wear a tight-fitting sports bra day and night, take Ibuprofen for pain
- Apply ice packs (or packages of frozen peas or cabbage leaves) to help decrease pain and swelling
- Touch and move your breasts as little as possible.The more movement, the more milk you will produce and the longer it will take for the swelling to go down.
- Pumping is not recommended as it can make milk production last longer.
- Unfortunately there are no pills or medicine that can stop your milk production faster.
What are the potential complications?
Complications are very rare, but it is extremely important to call your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Excessive bleeding (soaking one to two pads per hour for two hours straight)
- Severe cramps unrelieved by Ibuprofen or Tylenol
If these symptoms occur, take your temperature and call us at 714-456-2911, days, nights and weekends.
How can I avoid infection?
The risk of infection is very low but to minimize that, we recommend pelvic rest (meaning nothing in your vagina) for two weeks. This means:
- No sex
- No tampons (pads are fine)
- No baths, swimming or hot tubs. (Showering is fine)
- Exception: If you have chosen the NuvaRing for birth control, it is okay to insert it.
Do I need to take antibiotics?
Your doctor will have given you antibiotics at the hospital. You won’t need more antibiotics unless specifically recommended by your doctor.
When is it safe to get pregnant again?
There is not a lot of data to suggest when it is safe, but waiting one to two months after your procedure is usually more than enough.
If you would like to get pregnant again soon, continue taking prenatal vitamins.
When should I start birth control?
It is possible to become pregnant before your first menstrual period, so it is important to start using birth control soon if you want to avoid pregnancy.
- If you were in your first trimester (less than 13 weeks), you can start your pill, patch or ring on the day of the procedure.
- If you were in your second trimester (over 13 weeks), start your pill, patch or ring, seven days after your procedure.
These methods take one week to work, so you will need to avoid sex or use condoms during the first week of starting birth control.
Remember, emergency contraception is available without a prescription from most pharmacies. If you are under age 18, you may call us at any time if you would like a prescription for emergency contraception. Emergency contraception is highly protective against pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
Do I need to schedule a follow-up appointment?
After a procedure, most women do not need to see their doctor again. However, if you would like to consult your doctor, you may make an appointment by calling 714-456-7188.
Instructions after dilator placement
It is okay to go use the toilet normally after dilator placement. If the gauze falls out, that is okay. However do not flush the gauze as it will likely clog your plumbing. Bleeding is normal as long the flow is like a normal period or less.
If you are experiencing cramping and pain, we recommend:
- Taking your pain medications, repeating as needed according to the label instructions
- Use a heating pad
If you have any questions or concerns, please call our on-call nurse line to be connected with a doctor at 714-456-2911.