Misoprostol is a strong drug, and post-care is highly recommended. After taking misoprostol, especially for a medical abortion, your body will be working hard. It will lose some blood and re-grow your womb lining. Your body will still feel the effects of pregnancy hormones, so it will need plenty of good nutrition and time to heal itself.
Another reason to keep your nutrition levels up after misoprostol is to feel better. Some foods are great for your physical and mental well-being. Consuming these foods will help boost your energy levels and elevate your mood while taking time off to recover physically and mentally. Read more about what you should eat after taking misoprostol.
What is Misoprostol?
Misoprostol is a medication used to decrease the chances of having stomach ulcers. It helps reduce the risk of excessive bleeding and protects your stomach lining by lowering the level of acid. It softens the cervix, which aids the uterus in pushing out the pregnancy tissue. This helps in curbing an early pregnancy. Misoprostol is to be placed between your gums and cheeks, with two tablets placed in each cheek for 30 mins, which makes a total of four tablets. After 30 mins, swallow the residue or remaining tablet with a glass of water. Misoprostol is only available with a prescription.
It is important to be in a comfortable setting after taking misoprostol causes vaginal bleeding, diarrhea, and cramps begin within 2-24 hours of taking the medication. Generally, vaginal bleeding or spotting lasts for 9-16 days, but in some cases, it could also last for 30 days. To confirm if the pregnancy is aborted, visit your doctor after 7-14 days since the first dose of mifepristone.
Can you eat after taking misoprostol?
Yes, you can eat after taking misoprostol; it can be taken with or after your meal. However, it is preferred that you take this medication with food or milk to avoid loose stools, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. It is best not to drink alcohol or use drugs before, during, and after using this medicine, as it can impair your judgment. You can eat any food and drink liquids as you normally do within your routine. However, it is recommended to eat light meals as some women experience nausea from misoprostol.
Tips after taking misoprostol
- Remember to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated after taking misoprostol is important, as dizziness and fatigue are two common side effects of abortion medication that can be made worse by dehydration. It can also cause diarrhea which reduces the water intake in your body, making you more susceptible to damage. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, like water, tea, sports drink, or ginger ale. Avoid alcohol, as it does not hydrate you.
- Take care of your stomach
Abdominal pain is a common side effect of misoprostol. Try to eat foods that help settle your stomach. Foods like soup, toast, or light meals can nourish your body without upsetting your stomach.
- Tackle diarrhea
Diarrhea is another common side effect of misoprostol. After taking misoprostol, your stomach may feel tender and delicate, so avoid eating foods that may contribute to indigestion. Avoid heavy or greasy meals after taking misoprostol. This means passing on your spicy or greasy meals until after the abortion.
- Keep a heated pad close
Misoprostol can cause cramping; to ease this pain, warmth is essential. Keeping a heated pad close helps relax your muscles and aids in pain management. We encourage you to keep your body warm by consuming warm foods and drinks. Soup, stews, and teas are highly recommended.
Foods to encourage after taking misoprostol
The healing process after taking misoprostol differs from person to person; some people might take a few days to recover, while others might take weeks. Give your body the calm and rest it requires to return to its normal state. Making small changes in your diet can provide adequate energy to help you feel better. There are a few things that can aid the healing process. The most prominent way is through taking care of your nutrition, which includes eating certain foods that might help you recover quickly. These foods include
- Eat iron-rich foods.
Misoprostol will cause bleeding; your body goes through a lot during this process. To keep it adequately nourished, consider eating foods that are rich in iron. This is especially true if you’re anemic. Red meat, fish, beans, green leafy vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, spinach, broccoli, and dark chocolate- are all rich in iron.
Foods rich in omega-3, like seafood, lower your chance of harmful cholesterol, help fight depression, protect your heart, and prevent inflammation. Salmon, oysters, and sardines are great choices with more than enough omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, zinc, and B12. Walnuts and chia seeds are also encouraged.
Proteins are well-known as bodybuilding substances; after taking misoprostol, your body undergoes pain. To combat this, eat protein-rich foods. The primary function of protein-rich foods is to repair body cells using the major component- amino acids. After taking misoprostol, it plays a significant role in blood clotting and hormone balancing. Dairy products, cheese, eggs, lean meat, and poultry are all excellent sources of proteins and help speed up recovery.
- Indulge in your comfort food
Nothing will make you feel better than eating your comfort food. Focusing on eating healthy, nutritious food is great, but eating your favorite foods is sure to make you feel better and put you in a good mood.
Eat properly scheduled meals to speed up your recovery and minimize food cravings.
Food to avoid after taking misoprostol
There are a few foods you should avoid after taking misoprostol. They include:
Having alcohol after taking misoprostol can slow down the rate of blood clotting and make your blood thinner. This makes it longer for your incision site to heal. Alcohol will also increase the risk of infection as it may weaken your immune system.
- Refined carbs
Refined carbs are usually low in fiber content. While recovering, adequate fiber and fluid intake are essential to lower your risk of constipation. Fiber also supports a healthy gut microbiome that produces anti-inflammatory byproducts, which are important for a speedy recovery. Thus, having refined carbs may lead to the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria.
- Processed Meat
Processed meat has more advanced glycation end products (AGEs) than other meats. This can cause inflammation and is also high in sugar and fat, with little fiber, making you more prone to constipation.
What should you expect after taking misoprostol?
You will experience heavy bleeding and larger clots during the first few hours, but after 2-6 hours, the bleeding reduces to your normal period flow. This flow will last 3-7 days. However, irregular, prolonged bleeding might last for up to four weeks. Most of the side effects mentioned below result from your body adapting to the medication and do not require medical attention. They usually disappear within 4-5 days. Contact your doctor or nearest hospital immediately if you experience heavy bleeding or severe abdominal cramps.
After taking the second pill, it is absolutely important to be in a comfortable environment. Misoprostol causes
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal burning, itching, or discharge
- Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding)
To ease the pain, remember to be in a relaxed environment. You can also take pain medicines like ibuprofen after consulting your doctor. Keep a heating pad close or take hot showers to ease the pain and discomfort.
How to boost recovery after taking misoprostol?
Now that we’ve covered what to eat after taking misoprostol for a speedy recovery, let’s talk about what you should do to boost your overall recovery. It is important to seek emotional support from your family and friends and talk openly about your concerns and feelings. After an abortion, women usually require emotional support. Women might experience a range of negative feelings like sadness, relief, stress, or guilt. Remember to seek out support from your friends and family. Do not isolate yourself. Talk to a counselor that can help you. Going to a therapist or counseling is also recommended. The healing process starts in a few days to six weeks, but the mental trauma might linger. Gather all the support you can get and relax for a few days.
Abortion is an emotionally and physically stressful period for women. Nutritious foods have the power to aid in the healing process. It can also help the process of dealing with the loss. Emotional support from family and friends and an overall sense of well-being help to ease the situation. Consulting your doctor about the above-mentioned foods can considerably accelerate healing.
- Allen R, O’Brien BM. Uses of misoprostol in obstetrics and gynecology. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Summer;2(3):159-68. PMID: 19826573; PMCID: PMC2760893. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760893/
- How To Use Abortion Pill. What Can I Eat And Drink During An Abortion With Pills? Retrieved from: https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/fr/blog/eat-and-drink-during-an-abortion-with-pills/
- How does the abortion pill work? https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill/how-does-the-abortion-pill-work