What is an incomplete abortion.

Incomplete abortion.

An incomplete abortion or incomplete miscarriage is when some products are held back in the uterus after a miscarriage. It is also referred to as spontaneous abortion. The products of conception retained in the uterus do not have viable fetuses. This implies that there is no possibility to continue the pregnancy after an incomplete abortion.

Unaddressed incomplete abortion has many side effects; some serious ones like maternal sterility and death too.

Causes Of Incomplete Abortion?

  • Illegal abortions
  • Lack or poor prenatal care
  • Pelvic or lower abdominal trauma
  • under dosageing

Rarely, incomplete abortions can also occur after a medical or surgical abortion . Here, remaining pregnancy tissue will not be completely passed after medical abortion or removed during a surgical abortion. It happens more often after medical abortion than surgical abortion.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Incomplete Abortion?

Moderate to severe vaginal bleeding and pelvic or lower abdominal pain are common symptoms of incomplete abortion.

The other symptoms you may notice after a few days of abortion are:

  • Pain lasting more than a few days
  • Excessive bleeding lasting for a few days
  • Severe cramps or abdominal pain
  • Discomfort or pain while pressing on the abdomen (belly)
  • High fever lasting more than a day or two
  • Symptoms of low blood pressure e.g. dizziness

How do you know if you have an incomplete abortion?

An incomplete abortion is an abortion that has only been partially successful. The pregnancy has ended, no fetus will develop, but your body has only expelled part of the tissue and products of the pregnancy. If you have prolonged bleeding, too much bleeding (much more than a regular menstrual period), pain in your belly that does not go away after a few days of taking the Misoprostol, pain that is unbearable, fever, continued bleeding after three weeks, or pain when pushing on your belly, you may have an incomplete abortion. It is important to go to a hospital or a medical center to have an ultrasound if you have any of these symptoms. If the tissue and blood remain in the body, they can cause complications like heavy bleeding or an infection, which need to be treated. If there are no complication signs, often treatment with 2 extra tablets of Misoprostol in some cases is enough.


The treatment of an incomplete abortion is legal everywhere. In countries where women can be prosecuted for having an abortion, it is not necessary to tell the medical staff that you tried to induce an abortion; you can say that you had a spontaneous miscarriage. There are no tests that can show that a woman has done a medical abortion. It is extremely important to treat the complications of incomplete abortion. The treatment consists of evacuating residual tissue by vacuum aspiration, and antibiotics, in case of infection. Any clinic that can deal with complications of miscarriage can also help women with incomplete abortions because the symptoms are the same.