What Is an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion happens when not all the pregnancy tissue has been expelled from the uterus after any kind of medical or surgical abortion procedure. Instead, the body retains the tissue which can lead to serious risks of complications if left untreated.

“Incomplete abortion” can also be used to describe retained tissue after a miscarriage. In the medical field, miscarriages are sometimes referred to as “spontaneous abortions” because they occur without an intentional cause.

What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion usually presents in women as vaginal bleeding with lower abdominal and/or pain and cramping.

However, along with vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain, Cleveland Clinic also lists enlarged uterus, fever, hypomenorrhea (light or infrequent periods), infection, and open ectocervix (this should be small or closed) as additional symptoms.

What Are the Complications?

While complications are rare, they can be serious. 

Some potential complications if incomplete abortion is left untreated include severe hemorrhage, sepsis from the retained tissue, hemorrhagic shock, and uterine rupture. 

If you’ve recently experienced a miscarriage or abortion, ensure you monitor for any symptoms of incomplete abortion and seek medical care quickly.

The Importance of Self-Monitoring

Before considering abortion, you should know the importance of self-monitoring—especially for the abortion pill.

The abortion pill procedure, sometimes called “at-home abortion” is typically completed at home. While the drug mifepristone could be taken in a clinic, the second drug misoprostol is often taken hours or days later to trigger uterine contractions.

This procedure comes with a risk of incomplete abortion, which could lead to infection if untreated.

Because the abortion pill is completely outpatient, women seeking this option should have access to emergency care.

Thinking About Abortion?

While we do not perform or refer for abortion, we can provide accurate information about abortion and your alternative options. 

We are a safe place for women in Highland, Illinois to process the news of their unexpected pregnancies and decide their next steps. Schedule a free appointment today!

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