What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion occurs when some of the pregnancy tissue remains in a woman’s uterus after an abortion. It is one of the top risks mentioned by the Mayo Clinic for a medication abortion.

Signs of an incomplete abortion include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cramping
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Abdominal or lower back pain
  • Passing large clots through vaginal bleeding
  • Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina

When Should I Get Help?

You must seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of an incomplete abortion. If left untreated, an incomplete abortion can lead to:

  • Sepsis
  • Infection
  • Infertility
  • Hemorrhage 

Incomplete Abortion Treatment

A medical provider can treat an incomplete abortion using medication that dilates the cervix. This medication allows the remaining pregnancy tissue to pass. The drug also causes uterine contractions, which helps to expel the tissue from the body. 

If this treatment is unsuccessful, surgery can be an alternative treatment. During this surgery, called dilation and curettage procedure (D & C), the provider uses surgical tools to dilate the cervix. In addition to a suctioning technique, the healthcare provider uses a small, sharp spoon-shaped instrument called a curette to scrape any remaining tissue from the uterus. 

Who Is at Risk for an Incomplete Abortion?

Women having abortions are at risk of an incomplete abortion, but you should consider other factors. 

These factors can include the following: 

  • History of having c-sections
  • Having a late-term abortion
  • Infections
  • Bleeding disorders

Who Can I Turn to for Help?

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of an incomplete abortion, you must seek medical treatment immediately. Your health matters! If you are still considering pregnancy options, speaking with a trusted professional will help clarify. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, Crossroads Women’s Center is here. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost and confidential appointment!