An incomplete abortion occurs when pregnancy tissue remains in the body instead of being completely expelled. This is a risk of both types of abortion (medical and surgical), but especially with the abortion pill.
The tissue is called retained products of conception and is usually from the placenta, but it can be fetal tissue too. Women with placenta accreta (when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall) are at a higher risk for this condition.
There are risks of developing a serious infection when this occurs, so knowing the signs to receive immediate treatment is critical.
What Are the Signs?
1. Vaginal Bleeding
An incomplete abortion commonly presents as moderate to severe vaginal bleeding. You should seek immediate medical attention if you saturate one pad per hour.
2. Lower Abdominal/Pelvic Pain and Cramping
The vaginal bleeding could be associated with lower abdominal and pelvic pain and cramping. The cramping is typically rhythmic and similar to labor (but less intense).
If you have an accompanying fever, that could indicate an infection or septic abortion. Seek emergency care if experiencing this symptom.
If you had an abortion and something seems off, even if you are only experiencing one symptom, seeking medical attention is in your best interest. Complications after abortion can be severe and require emergency care.
While we do not provide services to treat an incomplete abortion, we do offer an after-abortion care program for women struggling with their mental or emotional health.
Be Informed About Your Health
If you come across this topic while considering abortion, make sure you know the risks before proceeding. We recommend having an ultrasound before making any decisions about your pregnancy for your health and safety.
An ultrasound will tell you your pregnancy’s age, location, and whether or not it’s progressing. These three details play a role in your health, safety, and available options based on FDA approval and state laws.
How We Can Help
Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing, STI testing, and limited ultrasounds. If you’re navigating an unexpected pregnancy and need support or early services, contact us for a free and confidential appointment.