Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

After the MVA

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HealthWiki > A Book for Midwives > Chapter 23: Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) > After the MVA


For the next day and night, check on the woman regularly to make sure she is OK. Check her temperature and pulse for signs of infection and check to see how much she is bleeding.

Tell the woman what to expect after the MVA. She should know to get help if she has any warning signs.

  • Bleeding about as much as regular monthly bleeding for a few days to a week.
  • Some cramping for 2 or 3 days.


  • Bleeding that is more than her usual monthly bleeding — especially bright red blood or large clots.
  • Bleeding for more than two weeks after the MVA.
  • Bad-smelling discharge from the vagina.
  • Womb that stays enlarged or that grows bigger after the MVA.
  • Strong pain, increasing pain, or cramping or pain in the belly or pelvis for more than 3 or 4 days.
  • Fever, chills, or feeling ill.
  • Feeling weak or dizzy, or fainting.


If the woman is bleeding more than a normal monthly bleeding, rub her womb every few hours to keep it hard and to push out any blood clots. Putting a bag of ice on her belly for 15 or 20 minutes may help too.

If she continues to bleed or has any other danger signs, get medical help.

Staying healthy after an MVA

Tell the woman what she should expect while her body heals. It is normal for her body to take a couple of weeks to feel like it did before she was pregnant. Tell her what warning signs to look for. And be sure the woman has a chance to talk about how she feels. Some women have fear, sadness, or other feelings after an MVA.

For the next few weeks, the woman should take care of her body so she can heal quickly and completely. She should avoid putting anything in her vagina and should not have sexual intercourse until she stops bleeding.

Encourage the woman to drink plenty of liquids and to eat good, healthy foods. She should rest for a few days if possible.

Family planning

After an MVA, ask the woman if she wants to know more about family planning. It is just as easy for a woman to become pregnant after an MVA as at any other time. Also, the woman may have had the MVA because she had a pregnancy that she did not want. Help her find a family planning method that works for her.



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