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.


How common are incomplete abortions after a medical abortion treatment?

Pregnancy duration

% of incomplete abortions

0-77 days


78-83 days


83-91 days