What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

Considering abortion? Before you make a choice for your unplanned pregnancy, take time to explore your options and learn about the risks and side effects related to abortion. 

What is an Incomplete Abortion?

An incomplete abortion occurs when fetal tissue is left in the uterus during an abortion procedure.

If left untreated, incomplete abortions can lead to “death, uterine rupture, uterine perforation, subsequent hysterectomy, multisystem organ failure, pelvic infection, cervical damage, vomiting, diarrhea, infertility, and/or psychological effects.” 1

What Are the Signs of an Incomplete Abortion?

If you’re considering the abortion pill, it’s important to first understand the side effects you might face in order to know if you may be experiencing complications. 

Common side effects include cramping, bleeding, headaches, nausea, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and chills. 

Side effects of surgical procedures include spotting and cramping. 

All abortion procedures come with a risk of incomplete abortion, among other health complications. Here are the common signs of incomplete abortion: 

  • Enlarged uterus
  • Fever
  • Hypomenorrhea (light or infrequent menstrual periods)
  • Infection
  • Open ectocervix 
  • Pelvic pain

If you’re experiencing any of these signs of an incomplete abortion, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Are There Other Risks Related to Abortion?

Incomplete abortion is not the only health risk related to abortion. 

Other conditions that may result from abortion include “uterine atony and subsequent hemorrhage, uterine perforation, injuries to adjacent organs (bladder or bowels), cervical laceration, septic abortion, and disseminated intravascular coagulation.” 2

What to do before you get an abortion

To best understand your unique health conditions, limit your risks, and avoid unnecessary complications, we recommend visiting your local pregnancy clinic for free pregnancy services prior to making your decision.  

ALC Pregnancy Resource Center offers the following services at no cost to you: 

  • Education about your pregnancy options
  • Free pregnancy testing 
  • Limited ultrasound for women who receive a positive pregnancy test at ALC
  • Information regarding STIs 
  • Emotional support after abortion

Are you ready to explore your pregnancy options or discuss healing after an abortion? ALC Pregnancy Resource Center is here for you! Schedule your free appointment today!


  1. Redinger A, Nguyen H. Incomplete Abortions. [Updated 2021 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559071/

  2. Sajadi-Ernazarova KR, Martinez CL. Abortion Complications. [Updated 2021 May 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430793/