What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion, sometimes referred to as “retained products of conception,” is a significant risk of an abortion procedure. If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy and considering having an abortion, it’s important to know the warning signs of incomplete abortion to safeguard your health. 

What Is an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion happens when parts of your pregnancy remain inside your uterus after an abortion. An incomplete abortion can occur after both a medical or surgical abortion.

During a medical abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”), two different drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, work together to terminate and then expel a pregnancy from your uterus. However, sometimes parts of the pregnancy remain in your uterus despite the effects of the different abortion drugs.

During a surgical abortion, your cervix is dilated so a medical instrument can go into your uterus to remove the pregnancy. However, if your pregnancy is further along, an incomplete abortion could happen. Studies show that nearly 40% of second-trimester abortions result in an incomplete abortion. 

What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion can be difficult to distinguish from the typical aftereffects of an abortion. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s vital to seek medical care as soon as possible.

Signs of incomplete abortion: 

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Fever
  • Intense pain and cramping
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

What If I’m Not Sure What I Want to Do?

If you’re pregnant but aren’t sure what next steps to take, that’s okay. The most important thing you can do is pause, take a deep breath, and thoroughly research your options. Every option—whether you choose abortion, parenting, or adoption—is permanent and will affect the rest of your life. 

No matter what choice you’re considering, receiving an ultrasound is essential. This simple scan can reveal critical information to ensure your health and safety. 

At Attleboro Women’s Health Center, we provide free, limited ultrasounds and other pregnancy resources to help empower you to make an informed decision. We understand that facing an unexpected pregnancy can be scary, but you’re not alone. We’re here for you. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment with our Care Team in a welcoming, non-judgmental space. Same-day appointments may be available.