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An incomplete abortion
What is an incomplete abortion?

An incomplete abortion is a possible (but rare) complication following a surgical abortion or a medication abortion (also known as the abortion pill).

What is an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion occurs when a pregnancy is no longer viable (or living), but there is tissue or parts of the fetus still left in the woman’s uterus. 

While any abortion method may result in an incomplete abortion, it may be a greater concern for patients who order the pill online without knowing how far along they are in their pregnancy.

As an example, if you order the abortion pill online and take it thinking you are 8 weeks pregnant, but you’re really 12 weeks pregnant, you could have an incomplete abortion. The FDA approved the abortion pill for women who are less than 10 weeks from the first day of their last period.

Common Symptoms of an Incomplete Abortion

The following are possible symptoms of an incomplete abortion, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 

  • Moderate to severe vaginal bleeding and passing of clots
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain that may spread to other locations
  • Fever (which may be a sign of infection that requires immediate intervention) 


Although it’s rare, cervical shock is another possible physical symptom of an incomplete abortion, resulting in low heart rate and blood pressure, and potentially being unresponsive to IV treatment.

What if I had an Abortion and I’m Having Symptoms?

If you underwent an abortion procedure or took the abortion pill and think you might be experiencing these symptoms, seek emergency medical care right away. Go to a hospital or urgent medical clinic to see a doctor immediately.

Treatments for an incomplete abortion vary depending on the medical needs of each patient. NIH has said a single dose of misoprostol may be adequate to resolve the issue if the woman is still in her first trimester. Other times, surgical intervention may be needed to remove the remaining tissue or parts of the fetus. 

I’m Considering Abortion: What Do I Need to Know First?

If you are considering your pregnancy options, including the abortion pill or surgical abortion, it’s crucial for your health to look at all the facts about your medical needs and pregnancy situation. 

At Chequamegon Pregnancy Center, we can help you navigate your pregnancy decision by answering your questions about your pregnancy through an ultrasound appointment. The details you get from this appointment can inform you of the options available.

Schedule your no-cost, confidential appointment today to meet with a trusted professional and get the answers you need to protect your health.