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This woman is wondering if she had an incomplete abortion.

What Are the Signs of Incomplete Abortion?

Abortion, like many other medical procedures, is serious. Whether you have a surgical or chemical abortion (the abortion pill), both have side effects and potential risks. One of the risks of either type of procedure is an incomplete abortion.

What Is An Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion can lead to lifelong health issues, such as infertility or even death, if not taken care of quickly.

Abortion is a medical procedure aimed to end the life of the fetus and remove all its parts from within the uterus. If the abortion is not done properly, fetal remains may be left inside the uterus resulting in an incomplete abortion.

Incomplete abortions are more common in chemical abortions because they do not require accounting for fetal body parts, whereas with a surgical abortion procedure it is the standard medical practice to account for all fetal body parts.

What Is A Chemical Abortion (the abortion pill)?

The abortion pill method is a medical abortion using two very powerful drugs. The first drug in a medical abortion blocks progesterone. A pregnancy requires progesterone to remain healthy, growing, and implanted in the uterus. Without progesterone, the pregnancy can no longer survive.

The first drug in a medical abortion blocks progesterone so the pregnancy can no longer stay implanted and grow. The second drug causes the uterus to contract in order to expel the pregnancy out of a woman’s body through the vagina.

The Mayo Clinic lists these as potential risks of a medical abortion:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Signs Of An Incomplete Abortion

Here are some of the symptoms the National Institute of Health (NIH) lists for an incomplete abortion:

  • Moderate to severe vaginal bleeding lasting days or possibly weeks
  • Lower abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Cramping
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhagic shock

In addition, the NIH lists the following potential complications:

  • Uterine rupture
  • Sepsis from the retained product
  • Multisystem organ failure
  • Hysterectomy
  • Pelvic infection
  • Cervical damage
  • Infertility
  • Death

What Should You Do First?

A reputable doctor will want to talk with you and examine you before and after any abortion. Receiving the abortion pill without doctor supervision can be dangerous for many reasons, including an incomplete abortion. 

Before you begin any abortion procedure, we recommend starting with medical pretesting. At Your Options Medical, we provide free confidential medical-grade pregnancy testing and ultrasound, at no financial cost and no insurance is needed. An ultrasound will confirm how far along you are and whether you are eligible for chemical or surgical abortion.

We care about your health and safety and want you to be prepared with the facts you need about abortion procedures, side effects, and potential risks. Schedule your free appointment today to receive medical pre-testing and talk about your options for your pregnancy. 

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