There are risks with any medical procedure, and abortion is no exception. One of the risks is an incomplete abortion, which means not all of the fetal and placental tissue (the pregnancy) comes out of the uterus. 

When tissue remains inside, it can cause severe bleeding, infection, and other health complications. Make sure you recognize the signs of an incomplete abortion so that you are prepared to seek care if needed. 

How Can An Abortion Be Incomplete?

Both the abortion pill method (a medication abortion) and surgical abortion (in-clinic) have the potential of being incomplete. You may think incomplete means the termination of the pregnancy didn’t happen. However, incomplete means that the e pregnancy is terminated, but parts still remain in the uterus.

The abortion pill method uses two drugs over a 24 – 48-hour period to terminate a pregnancy.  It is only FDA-approved through 10 weeks of pregnancy (70 days from the first day of your last period). 

Since Missouri banned abortion, you may decide to take the abortion drugs on your own in your home. You must know precisely how many weeks you have been pregnant because the farther along you are in your pregnancy, the greater the risk your abortion will be incomplete. 

Studies suggest up to 40% of second-trimester abortions or miscarriages (longer than 12 weeks) could potentially be incomplete.

An incomplete abortion is less likely with a surgical procedure because an abortion provider performs the surgery. However, it can still happen. If you are early in your pregnancy, you will most likely have vacuum or suction aspiration, in which the provider may miss some tissue.

What Symptoms Should I Look For?

Medical experts also call an incomplete abortion retained products of conception. Some of the physical symptoms include the following:

  • Heavy bleeding or blood clots
  • Fever
  • Irregular periods
  • An enlarged uterus
  • Infection
  • Pelvic pain

How Do You Treat An Incomplete Abortion?

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends a follow-up visit with the abortion provider. They will most likely retake a pregnancy test to measure hCG levels and provide an ultrasound to diagnose the situation.

The provider may recommend a surgical procedure or drugs to remove the remaining tissue. Sometimes, a woman’s body expels the tissue on its own.

What Should I Do Before An Abortion?

Before any abortion, you need the information that only an ultrasound can provide. An ultrasound determines how far along you are in your pregnancy. By knowing the exact date, you protect your health.

You also learn if your pregnancy is growing or if you have already had a miscarriage. Over one in four of all pregnancies ends in a natural miscarriage. Ultrasound also determines if your pregnancy is growing in the correct location. If not, it could be a life-threatening situation.

Where Can I Get An Ultrasound?

My Life Clinic offers free and confidential limited ultrasounds to women with positive pregnancy tests. Before you move forward with an abortion, get the information you need to protect your health and safety.

Schedule an appointment with My Life Clinic for your free pregnancy test and limited ultrasound today. We value your health and want to provide services and information that ensure you are safe and prepared.