A complete abortion occurs when all the products of a pregnancy have been removed. A checkup after an abortion or miscarriage is important to ensure that it is complete and that there are no remains of the pregnancy. An incomplete abortion could lead to a serious infection.
An abortion involves removing all 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. Bleeding, on the other hand, is often associated with incomplete abortion, and is considered very dangerous.
The risks of an incomplete abortion increase dramatically after the fetus has grown to 2.5 cm (1 inch) or more. This usually occurs about two to three months after pregnancy. At this stage, pieces of fetal tissue that are too large to leave the cervix and body can become trapped inside the uterus, preventing a complete abortion.
Infection after incomplete abortion is often the result of pieces of fetal tissue trapped in the uterus, and will often be accompanied by a high fever and heavy bleeding. Bleeding after an abortion occurs when the bleeding soaks through more than one sanitary napkin in an hour, and it is a 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 miscarriage, a woman is strongly advised to go to a gynecologist for a check-up. 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 make sure the cervix is closed. An ultrasound may also be necessary to check if any pregnancy products remain in the mother’s uterus.
Ensuring that a complete abortion was performed is considered very important. An infection that can result can lead to serious medical complications, such as infertility or even death. Immediate medical treatment is often necessary to prevent these complications.
To complete abortion procedures, doctors often perform something known as a D&C. During this procedure, the cervix is dilated. Then a doctor scrapes the inside of the uterus to remove any remaining product of a pregnancy.