What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering an abortion, it’s essential to know the warning signs of an incomplete abortion—one of the primary risk factors associated with the procedure.

Read on to learn more about the causes of incomplete abortion and the warning signs to be aware of.

What Is an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion (sometimes referred to as “retained products of conception”) is a risk after undergoing an abortion, and it means that parts of the pregnancy stay inside the uterus. It’s a dangerous complication of abortion because it can quickly lead to a potentially life-threatening infection or hemorrhaging. 

If you have a medical abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”), an incomplete abortion is one of the main risks. This is due to the way the drugs work in a medical abortion. The first drug, mifepristone, ends the pregnancy, while the second drug, misoprostol, causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy through the vagina. However, each woman’s bodabortiy will respond differently to the drugs, and it’s not guaranteed that all parts of the pregnancy will be expelled.

The risk of an incomplete abortion after a medical abortion increases with the gestational age of the pregnancy.

What Are the Warning Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

Bleeding and painful cramping are normal events after an abortion. However, if the bleeding is accompanied by large blood clots, or if the pain becomes unbearable, these could be signs that parts of the pregnancy have remained in the uterus. 

Other warning signs of an incomplete abortion include: 

  • Fever
  • Foul-smelling vaginal fluid
  • Uterine infection

Next Steps

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed as you consider your next steps. However, it’s important to take a deep breath and research all your options so that you can make the best decision for you. At PHC of Central Missouri, we understand what you’re going through, and are here to help. We offer free pregnancy resources that can help you make an informed decision. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment in a caring, non-judgmental environment.