What is an incomplete abortion?
An incomplete abortion is a rare but potentially dangerous complication related to the medical abortion procedure, also referred to as the abortion pill.
In a medical abortion, one pill, Mifepristone, is used to end the pregnancy, while the other, Misoprostol, is taken to help expel the pregnancy tissue. In some cases, Misoprostol is ineffective in fully emptying the uterus of the fetal tissue, leading to what’s called an incomplete abortion.
Retained fetal tissue caused by incomplete abortions can lead to serious health conditions if left untreated, including infection, sepsis, and hemorrhaging.
Signs and Symptoms
When taking the abortion pill, women should expect to experience some discomfort and side effects. Bleeding and cramping are to be expected as the tissue is emptied from the uterus through a process of contractions.
It’s important to be on the lookout, however, for any abnormal side effects. The following symptoms could be signs of an incomplete abortion:
- Prolonged and excessive bleeding — Defined by the FDA as “soaking through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours.”
- Severe abdominal pain or pelvic tenderness
- A fever of at least 100.4°F for more than 4 hours
How to avoid an incomplete abortion
The best way to avoid an incomplete abortion is by receiving an ultrasound scan prior to your abortion to ensure that you are eligible for the procedure.
According to the FDA, women should not take the abortion pill if their pregnancies are further than 10 weeks along. Undergoing a medical abortion past this point can lead to an incomplete abortion and retained fetal tissue.
Ultrasound scans identify important factors about pregnancy, including the age, location, and viability of the fetus. The Pregnancy Center Clinton provides free pregnancy testing and limited ultrasound scans in a confidential and supportive environment. We’re here to walk you through your abortion options and help you explore the resources available to you during this time!
The Pregnancy Center Clinton exists to ensure that women experiencing unplanned pregnancies are provided with the resources and information they need to make an informed and safe choice for their health and future.