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What risks does an incomplete abortion pose?

Q: I am a 28 years old female. I had an abortion two months back by an unregistered doctor. Because of the sever pain, I wasn’t able to complete the procedure of abortion. It took two weeks for the bleeding to stop. I am worried that I may have had an incomplete abortion, which could prove fatal. I also experience vaginal pain. What should I do?

A:From your query it is not very clear what method the (unregistered) doctor employed to carry out the procedure. Assuming that he inserted some instruments in your uterus (womb), it is likely to be associated with high risk of infection of the womb. If uncontrolled or not treated at the correct time, it may lead to sepsis which can be life threatening. The other thing - it is also likely that the procedure remained incomplete. If you are having persistent vaginal bleeding (especially with clots and some tissues coming out from the vagina) it may indicate incomplete procedure i.e. incomplete abortion. If you have fever, are feeling unwell and / or having foul smelling discharge from the vagina, it may indicate infection. My advice in any of the above case is to see a qualified doctor. You may need a course of antibiotics and depending on whether there is any suspicion of incomplete abortion, you may need evacuation of retained products of conception. As the name of procedure indicates, the aim is to remove any retained tissues in the womb. This is a procedure that can be done either under local or general anaesthesia. Pain in the vagina may be because of inflammation of vaginal walls. This may need anti-inflammatory medicines.

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