Abortions are safe, medical procedures, and can be life-saving options for people who don’t want to be pregnant. However, as with all medicine, there are some risks.
An incomplete abortion occurs when an abortion procedure has only been partially successful. Although the pregnancy has ended and no fetus will develop, some of the pregnancy tissues and products remain in the body.
The risk of incomplete abortions after a medical termination is low but increases the later a person is in the pregnancy. Incomplete abortions are less likely to happen after a surgical termination.
It is crucial for those considering an abortion to feel secure and in control by having all the information they need to make a choice. It is also essential for those who may have had an incomplete abortion to know the signs, and feel confident about what to do.
Signs of Incomplete Abortion
After an abortion procedure, if you experience any of the following symptoms it might mean that you have had an incomplete abortion:
- Large amounts of bleeding, for example, having to change a heavy bleeding pad every hour, or passing blood clots
- Persistent bleeding that does not get lighter after the first few days, or lasts more than three weeks
- Very severe pain or cramps, or other pains that last longer than a few days Discomfort when something presses against the belly
- High fever that lasts for more than two days
If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t panic, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve had an incomplete abortion, the body may just be responding to the procedure. However, if you have, there are plenty of options available, and diagnosis and treatment are simple and approachable.
What Should I Do If I Think My Abortion Was Incomplete
If you think your abortion may have been incomplete, it is important to contact a doctor or a pregnancy clinic right away. The sooner a diagnosis and treatment takes place, the sooner your symptoms will stop. Treatment will also prevent infection or further complications.
It is legal to treat incomplete abortion everywhere. Even in countries where it is illegal to perform medical abortions, you do not have to tell healthcare professionals that you chose to end the pregnancy, as there are no tests to determine this. Anywhere equipped to help those with uteruses with miscarriages can also help those with incomplete abortions.
Diagnosis will happen after discussing your symptoms with the doctor, who may also require an ultrasound, pelvic exam, rectal exam, or abdominal check. Treatment often consists of 2 extra tablets of Misoprostol, but could also include evacuating residual tissue by vacuum. Your symptoms should subside soon afterwards.
Having an abortion can bring up strong emotions, especially if there are complications. Check in with yourself and remind yourself that you are entitled to make decisions about your body. If you can, surround yourself with people who love you and can take care of you. Resting and taking care of your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health.