5 Signs of Incomplete Abortion

Experiencing an abortion can be a sensitive and complex situation for any individual, and even more when the abortion has not been done correctly. Facing an abortion is a deeply personal experience, and when complications arise, it can be both physically and emotionally challenging. But do you know the 5 signs of incomplete abortion?

While most abortions proceed smoothly and without complications, there are instances when an abortion may be incomplete, requiring medical attention. 

In this blog post, we will explore the signs of an incomplete abortion, focusing on the importance of recognizing these indications and seeking appropriate medical care. 

It is crucial to remember that this information is not intended to replace professional medical advice but to provide you with a better understanding of the topic.

Understanding the Signs of An Incomplete Abortion

Before delving into the signs of incomplete abortion, it’s essential to clearly understand what this term entails. 

An incomplete abortion refers to a situation where the termination of pregnancy is not entirely successful, and some pregnancy-related tissues remain in the uterus

This can occur for various reasons, such as an incomplete expulsion of the products of conception or retained placental fragments

If left untreated, an incomplete abortion can lead to potential health risks, including infection and excessive bleeding. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that may indicate an incomplete abortion, allowing you to seek timely medical attention and appropriate care.

Persistent or Heavy Bleeding

One of the primary signs of incomplete abortion is persistent or heavy bleeding

While bleeding is expected after an abortion, it should gradually decrease as the uterus heals

However, if you notice prolonged and heavy bleeding that surpasses what is considered normal for your situation, it may indicate an incomplete abortion. 

For example, this can include excessive bleeding that requires changing sanitary pads every hour or passing large blood clots. 

If you experience these symptoms, contacting your healthcare provider for evaluation and guidance is vital. 

In that way, they will be able to assess the extent of the bleeding and determine the appropriate course of action to address the incomplete abortion.

Severe Abdominal Pain

Experiencing severe or persistent abdominal pain following an abortion is another potential sign of incomplete abortion. 

Mild cramping is typical during the recovery period. 

However, intense and prolonged pain may indicate that the uterus has not been completely emptied. 

This pain can be debilitating and may significantly impact your daily activities

If you find yourself in significant discomfort that is not alleviated by over-the-counter pain medications or interferes with your ability to carry out your regular tasks, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional. 

They will evaluate your symptoms and perform the necessary examinations to determine if an incomplete abortion is the underlying cause of the pain.

Foul-Smelling Discharge

An unusual or foul-smelling discharge is another sign that may suggest an incomplete abortion. 

Usually, vaginal discharge after an abortion may vary in color and consistency but should not have a strong or unpleasant odor. 

If you notice any changes in your vaginal discharge, particularly if it is malodorous, it is crucial to seek medical evaluation promptly. 

Foul-smelling discharge can be a sign of infection, which can occur when there are retained pregnancy-related tissues in the uterus. 

By seeking timely medical attention, you can receive appropriate treatment to address the incomplete abortion and prevent any potential complications.

Persistent Pregnancy Symptoms

After a successful abortion, it is common for pregnancy symptoms to gradually diminish as the body adjusts and the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy begin to normalize.

However, if you find that pregnancy symptoms persist or even worsen following the procedure, it could be a sign of an incomplete abortion.

One of the most noticeable pregnancy symptoms that may persist after an abortion is breast tenderness.

This discomfort or sensitivity in the breasts, commonly experienced during pregnancy, may continue if the abortion is unsuccessful

If you notice ongoing breast tenderness that doesn’t seem to subside, it is important to seek medical assessment to determine if further intervention is necessary.

Nausea and fatigue are also common pregnancy symptoms that can persist if the abortion was incomplete. 

While it is natural to feel tired or experience occasional bouts of nausea during pregnancy, these symptoms should gradually disappear after a successful abortion. 

If you continue to experience persistent nausea or fatigue, it may indicate that some pregnancy-related tissues are still present in the uterus. 

It is important not to ignore persistent pregnancy symptoms after an abortion, and seeking medical evaluation is crucial to determine the cause and ensure proper management.

signs of incomplete abortion

Positive Pregnancy Test

A persistently positive pregnancy test several weeks after the abortion procedure can be a cause for concern and may suggest an incomplete abortion. 

When an abortion is performed, pregnancy hormone levels gradually decrease, leading to a negative pregnancy test result

However, if the pregnancy test continues to show a positive result after a significant amount of time has passed since the abortion, it raises questions about the completeness of the procedure.

A persistently positive pregnancy test could indicate that some pregnancy-related tissues remain in the uterus. 

These retained tissues can continue to produce the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), resulting in a positive pregnancy test. 

It is crucial not to delay seeking medical attention if you have taken multiple pregnancy tests that continue to show positive results. 

While a persistently positive pregnancy test doesn’t automatically mean an incomplete abortion, it warrants further evaluation by a healthcare professional to ensure your health and well-being.

What Your Healthcare Provider Will Do

This evaluation may include a physical examination, a review of your medical history, and possibly additional diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound.

The ultrasound is a valuable tool that allows healthcare providers to visualize the uterus and determine if any pregnancy-related tissues are still present. 

Based on the ultrasound findings and your individual circumstances, your healthcare provider will recommend appropriate treatment options to address the incomplete abortion.


Remember, early intervention is key to preventing complications associated with an incomplete abortion. If you notice any of the signs mentioned, please seek medical attention without delay. Your health and well-being are our top priorities.

signs of incomplete abortion


If an incomplete abortion is confirmed, your healthcare provider will discuss treatment options with you. 

The most common approach for managing an incomplete abortion is a procedure called aspiration or dilation and curettage (D&C). 

During this procedure, the remaining pregnancy-related tissues are gently removed from the uterus to ensure its complete evacuation. 

The D&C is typically a safe and straightforward procedure performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on your specific circumstances and preferences.

signs of incomplete abortion

Legal Considerations

Please be aware that the laws surrounding abortion and follow-up care may vary by location. It’s essential to be informed about the legal aspects and ensure you receive the care you need within the legal framework of your area.


Recognizing the signs of incomplete abortion is crucial in ensuring your health and well-being

If you experience any of the aforementioned indications, it is vital to seek medical attention promptly

Remember, every individual’s situation is unique, and it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and appropriate care. 

They will guide you through the necessary steps and provide the support you need during this time and recommend appropriate treatment options to complete the abortion process safely.  


Disclaimer: The information provided is for general purposes only and should not be considered medical or legal advice. Please always seek help from a qualified professional.