Abortion can be a complex procedure. Sometimes, side effects and complications occur.

What does it mean when an abortion is incomplete? Does the definition change with the type of abortion chosen?

1. Medical Abortion

Medical abortion comes with risks. While not every woman will experience one, some can be very dangerous when they happen. One of these dangerous complications is when fetal parts remain inside the body at the end of the procedure.

A woman may experience moderate to severe vaginal bleeding if any of the pieces remain. Infection can also occur, with the signs of a fever and foul-smelling vaginal discharge.

Two treatments of an incomplete medical abortion include a surgical procedure (dilation & curettage) or taking additional doses of misoprostol (the second abortion drug) and making certain that no pregnancy tissue remains behind.

2. Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortions are primarily performed later in the pregnancy.

If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms after a surgical abortion, it could indicate an incomplete abortion or infection:

  • Heavy bleeding (enough bleeding to change pads every hour)
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Fever
  • Cramps lasting more than 48 hours
  • Lasting dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pain that gets worse instead of better

If any of these occur, you should contact your healthcare provider. Make a call before things get any worse.

3. Preventing Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening medical emergency caused by the body’s immune system response to an infection. If you think you may have an incomplete abortion, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent complications like sepsis.

While rare, it’s important that women who are aborting alone at home know the signs just in case.

If you experience the following signs or symptoms, seek medical help immediately: fever or hypothermia, fast heart rate, shaking or chills, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and warm, clammy, or sweaty skin.

If untreated, this can progress into severe sepsis and then septic shock, which is very dangerous. Treatment involves removing the infected tissue as soon as possible.

At Options Pregnancy Clinic, we can provide you with a no-cost pregnancy test. Our experienced medical team will also offer a free ultrasound and inform you of all your options.

We would love to be your first stop as you seek your pregnancy options. We’re here to ensure you make a confident decision about your pregnancy and your future.

Contact us today!