When you’re in a menstrual extraction group with friends and neighbors, it’s natural to follow up on the procedure. You call up your friend and ask, “How are you doing?” If she says, “Well, I’m not feeling too well. I think I might have a fever,” you say, “Come right over!” You get a few of the group together the same day and you do another suction and take out any matter that been left in there which may have developed into an infection. That’s what they do at the abortion clinic. Reaspiration is the recommended treatment when a woman has tenderness or fever which could indicate an incomplete abortion.
In a menstrual extraction group which is not made up of a friendship group or fellow sorority sisters, you set up a more formal follow-up plan. Everyone has each other’s contact information and you make sure that you keep in close touch for the next week or two.
One reason that it was so important to “get everything out” in the old days of illegal abortion is that the woman might have travelled very far, perhaps to another city, another state, or even another country, or she might be unable to get out at her house without arousing suspicion, so you wanted to make very, very sure that you extracted every little bit, even using a metal curette to do a final scraping of the uterine walls. Today, in the legal abortion setting, less traumatic methods are used and the small number of incomplete abortions are easily and quickly dealt with in the follow-up visit.
Dr. David Grimes, of Center for Disease Control, figured out that it is not good to routinely give anti-biotics because it camouflaged an infection. It’s not an infection like an infection of your bodily tissues. It’s an infection of material inside your uterus, so suctioning it out is the best way to reduce the infection.
I understand that nowadays some clinics do give out antibiotics, perhaps because some of their clients would have a hard time coming back to the clinic.