A complete abortion occurs when all of the products of a pregnancy have been removed. A check up after an abortion or a miscarriage is important to ensure that it is complete and there are no remnants of the pregnancy left. An incomplete abortion could result in a serious infection.
An abortion involves removing all of the products of a pregnancy, or conception. These products include fetal tissue, which is usually pinkish gray, as well as blood, or blood clots. On average, most women will experience mild to heavy vaginal bleeding anywhere from one to three weeks after a complete abortion. Hemorrhaging, on the other hand, is often associated with an incomplete abortion, and it is considered very dangerous.
Risks of an incomplete abortion increase drastically after the fetus has grown to be 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) or more. This usually occurs roughly two or three months into the pregnancy. At this stage, pieces of fetal tissue that are too big to pass out of the cervix and out of the body can get trapped inside the uterus, preventing a complete abortion.
Infection after an incomplete abortion is often a result of pieces of fetal tissue stuck in the uterus, and many times it will be accompanied by a high fever and severe bleeding. Hemorrhaging after an abortion occurs when the bleeding soaks through more than one sanitary pad in an hour, and it is one sign that something went wrong during the procedure. Pelvic pain and severe cramps are another sign of an incomplete abortion.
Two to three weeks after a medical or spontaneous abortion, a woman is strongly advised to go to a gynecologist for a checkup. During this appointment, the doctor will usually look for any signs of infection, including inflammation of the cervix or uterus. He will also check to ensure that the cervix is closed. An ultrasound may also be necessary to check to see if any products of a pregnancy remain in the mother's uterus.
Ensuring that a complete abortion took place is considered very important. An infection that can result may lead to serious medical complications, such as sterility or even death. Immediate medical treatment is often necessary to prevent these complications.
To complete abortion procedures, doctors often perform something known as a dilation and curettage. During this procedure, the cervix is dilated. A doctor then scrapes the inside of the uterus to remove any remaining products of a pregnancy.