Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended so that it doesn’t result in the birth of a child. It is also called termination of pregnancy.
Abortion is achieved either pharmacologically by the use of drugs or through mechanical means.
We have different types of abortion which include complete abortion, septic abortion, safe abortion, missed abortion, inevitable abortion, incomplete abortion, threatened abortion etc.
Symptoms of a complete abortion
- Cessation or reduction of vaginal bleeding following heavy bleeding with passage of clots and/or the foetus and placenta.
Signs of a complete abortion
The following are signs of a complete abortion:
- The cervix is closed and firm
- Resolution or abatement of pain
- The uterus is smaller than the gestational age
- No pelvic tenderness
- Blood grouping and cross matching
- Ultrasound scan: to confirm empty uterine cavity
Treatment for a complete abortion
The treatment objectives of a complete abortion include the following:
- To confirm abortion is complete
- To assess for and manage anaemia if present
- To assess for and manage pelvic infection if present
- To prevent risk of Rhesus incompatibility in future pregnancies
- Counselling and psychological support (including family Planning)
- Treat anaemia if present (See ‘Anaemia in Pregnancy‘ for details)
- Provide antibiotics if needed (See treatment of ‘Incomplete Abortion‘ for details)
- Provide Anti D Immune globulin if Indicated (See ‘Inevitable Abortion‘ for details)