An incomplete abortion happens when some of the pregnancy remains in a woman’s uterus after she has had an abortion. 

Signs of an incomplete abortion can include:

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

When to Seek Medical Help

If a woman that has had an abortion notices any signs or symptoms of an incomplete abortion, she should immediately contact her medical provider. 

Incomplete abortion can lead to severe complications such as the following:

  • Infection
  • Hemorrhage (bleeding too much)
  • Infertility

Treatment of Incomplete Abortion

A medical provider is likely to provide medication in the treatment of incomplete abortion. The medication would aim to dilate the cervix (the opening of the uterus) to allow the remaining pregnancy to pass and cause the uterus to contract (squeeze) to force the pregnancy out.

In some cases, if the situation is too severe or medical treatment is not successful, surgery may be necessary to remove the pregnancy. This surgery is called dilation and curettage (D&C). During a D&C, the provider will open the cervix with surgical tools and use suction to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. 

Medications like antibiotics and pain medication might also be prescribed to treat the infection and manage the woman’s pain.

Who Is at Risk for Incomplete Abortion?

Any woman receiving an abortion is at risk for incomplete abortion, but some women are at an increased risk. It is essential that a woman discuss her medical history with her provider to assess risks associated with abortion. 

Factors that can increase the risk of incomplete abortion include the following:

  • Abortion later in the pregnancy
  • Certain medical conditions like bleeding disorders or infections
  • History of C-section
  • Obtaining an illegal or unsafe abortion

Do You Have Questions?

At Vie Medical Clinic, we have answers. If you think you are pregnant and are weighing your options for the outcome of your pregnancy, we offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and options counseling. Our medical staff can give you the information you need to allow you to make a decision with confidence.

Schedule a free and confidential appointment today.