What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

If you’re considering an abortion, one of the potential risks that you should be educated on is what happens if abortion is incomplete.

Keep reading to find out what that means, why it matters, and steps you can take to protect your health when considering abortion.

What Is an Incomplete Abortion?


When abortion is “incomplete”, it doesn’t mean that your pregnancy is still growing. An incomplete abortion means that, whether it’s a surgical or medication abortion, the pregnancy remnants were not successfully removed or expelled from your uterus. 

This can cause infection and should be treated immediately.

What Are the Symptoms of an Incomplete Abortion?

If you already had an abortion and are displaying the following symptoms, then you should seek medical treatment immediately. The most obvious sign of an incomplete abortion is moderate to severe vaginal bleeding that lasts days or even weeks.

You may also experience cramps as your body tries to empty the pregnancy tissue from your uterus.

Other symptoms include:

  • Low back pain or abdominal pain that is dull, sharp, or cramping
  • Tissue or clot-like material that passes from the vagina
  • Vaginal bleeding, with or without abdominal cramps

How Likely Is an Incomplete Abortion?

There are limited studies on how common incomplete abortion is. However, according to one Finnish study conducted on almost 5,000 abortions, an incomplete abortion was the most common complication related to medical abortions performed under 12 weeks.

The overall abortion-related complication rate is around 2%If a woman experiences an incomplete abortion, then surgical intervention may be required.

Next Steps

If you’re considering an abortion, the best first step is to protect your own health while also gathering more details about your pregnancy. It is important to make sure that the pregnancy is progressing (which can be indicated through fetal heartbeat), and that it is located in the uterus.

This can be done by scheduling an ultrasound at our Center, which would be at no cost to you. We do not perform or refer for abortions, but we do provide a safe space for you to ask questions about the process, discuss your feelings, and learn about local resources.

We are here to support and help you feel empowered to make a decision with confidence. Contact us today!

Difficult Roads often lead to Beautiful Destinations.