A few days after taking Mifepristone orally at home, Abby’s abdominal pain had not subsided. After additional heavy bleeding, she decided to see her OBGYN, who ordered a pregnancy test and ultrasound.
Abby’s diagnosis was an incomplete abortion, something she had never heard of before. Her body had not fully given birth to all of the tissue in her womb.
What is an Incomplete Abortion?
Usually occurring within the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, an incomplete abortion can happen when an earlier elected surgical abortion does not fully remove all the contents of the womb.
An incomplete abortion can also occur when a woman’s body terminates the embryo on it’s own, sometimes known as miscarriage.
What Causes an Incomplete Abortion?
According to the National Library of Medicine, a mother’s DNA, pre-existing conditions like diabetes, advanced maternal age, or habitually consuming alcohol or caffeine can contribute to the likelihood of a miscarriage.
Additionally, poor medical care or improperly completed abortion procedures can cause an incomplete abortion.
About 50 percent of incomplete abortions are caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
What Are the Symptoms of an Incomplete Abortion?
You should contact your healthcare provider if you have lower back or pelvic pain. Additional symptoms include cramping and moderate to severe vaginal bleeding.
A fever alongside any of these symptoms should be addressed immediately, as it could be a sign of an infection or of oncoming septic shock.
How is An Incomplete Abortion Treated?
Just like Abby, your doctor will likely order an additional pregnancy test and an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. Then your healthcare provider will closely monitor you over the next days and weeks, checking and re-checking your beta-HCG levels.
If your body does not expel the remaining tissue on its own over the following few days, it will need to be removed surgically to prevent infection or long-term damage.
Your doctor may also prescribe an IV for extra fluids or pain medication. In some cases you may need a blood transfusion or iron supplements if you lose too much blood.
Do You Have More Questions?
If you are worried about your pregnancy or uncertain of your next steps, please reach out to us.
We will offer a listening ear, and support for your journey. We will give you all the information to help you navigate all the complexities of your specific situation. You are not alone. Contact us today.