An incomplete abortion happens when parts of a pregnancy remain in the uterus after an abortion. While this can happen after a surgical abortion, it’s more likely to occur after a medical abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”). 

Read on to learn more about the signs of an incomplete abortion and the importance of an ultrasound if you’re still pregnant. Want to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options? Contact Lilli Women’s Center today to speak with one of our caring team members. All appointments and resources are confidential and provided at no cost to you.

How Would I Know If I’m Having an Incomplete Abortion?

Both medical and surgical abortions cause abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. However, an incomplete abortion causes heavy and prolonged bleeding often accompanied by blood clots. It can also cause the following symptoms:

  • Enlarged uterus
  • Fever
  • Hypomenorrhea (light or infrequent menstrual periods)
  • Infection
  • Open ectocervix (the opening between the vagina and uterus should be small or closed after pregnancy)
  • Pelvic pain

If you’ve had an abortion and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical treatment immediately, as an incomplete abortion can lead to serious infection or uterine scarring (which can impact future fertility and cause painful menstrual periods). 

Importance of an Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a harmless scan that uses sound waves to create an image of your internal structures and organs.

If you’ve had an abortion and think you might be experiencing symptoms of an incomplete abortion, an ultrasound can help lead to a diagnosis. 

If you’re still pregnant and considering an abortion, an ultrasound can reveal the key information you need to protect your health. For example, medical abortions are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks old. If you’re further along, your chance of potentially serious risks (including incomplete abortion) increases.

Next Steps

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone in this. If you’re thinking about abortion or want to explore your other pregnancy options, Lilli Women’s Center is here for you. We offer free pregnancy resources, including ultrasounds, that can help you feel confident about how to move forward. Contact us today for a free, confidential appointment.