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The further advanced the pregnancy the greater the risk for incomplete abortion. Most incomplete abortions occur in women whose pregnancies have reached eight weeks or more from the time of conception, or 10 weeks LMP (last menstrual period). The fetus has grown to an inch and length, and may be too large to pass through the cervix on its own.
The cramps associated with incomplete abortion can be very painful, and severe. In order to get the tissue to pass through the cervix your body may go into a mini labor to open the os (opening of the cervix, entrance into the uterus) to allow the tissue to pass. When this happens it can be a very frightening and painful experience, particularly if bleeding is also profuse.
When peices of tissue are too large for the uterus to expel it creates a situation where the uterus is not able to "clamp down" (contract) to its normal size. It is important for the uterus to return to its normal size following child birth or miscarriage this prevents the uterus from bleeding uncontrolably. Massaging the uterine area can help the uterus contract to normal size. If it does not return to its normal size hemorrhage can result, bleeding can be dangerously profuse. And it is possible to bleed to death.
Hemorrhage is considered to be soaking one menstrual pad or more per hour. Seek help. Don't wait. Hemorrhage is not uncommon when it comes to miscarriage past 8 weeks, whether it is a natural miscarriage or herbally induced.
Incomplete abortion can also manifest in ways other than hemorrhage. Remaining tissue can putrify and result in a uterine infection. The first symptom is fever. Uterine infection is very serious. Left untreated it can result in sterility and even death. So if you come down with a fever following the termination of pregnancy, herbally, natural miscarriage, or by clinical abortion, even if it is a couple of weeks after the termination of pregnancy. The second symptom of uterine infection is usually reveiled during a pelvic exam at the clinic, the uterus will be quite painful as the infection progresses. Again, early treatment is very important, this is not something that can be resolved at home.
Incomplete abortion can also be prolonged bleeding lasting two or more weeks. Bleeding may be moderate to light. This may not be as life threatening as the forementioned situations, but can present serious health problems and could require blood transfusions if bleeding is serious. Uterine infection could still result. Anemia may also become a problem (iron deficency).
One lady wrote me, Mariah and told of her experience using herbs to terminate pregnancy. She used a recipe given by Susun Weed 3 which killed the fetus, but did not expel it from her uterus. She began treatment when menstruation was late and continued it for about two weeks. After about a week of treatment, she began to bleed, but then stopped. After continuing the herbs for another week she stopped, not sure that everything had been expelled. Two weeks later she started bleeding again. After seeing an OB/GYN and taking a couple of pregnancy tests they discovered she was still pregnant. A sonogram revealed the fetus still in the uterus without a heart beat. By the time her situation was resolved she was 8 weeks pregnant (from conception). She scheduled an abortion, a D&C, which is how incomplete abortions are dealt with. As she and the medical staff prepared for the coming D&C she miscarried. Her body decided now was the time to get rid of the fetal tissue. She lost a lot of blood and experienced a great deal of pain. She spent the night in the hospital and the D&C was done the following day.
So you can see, even when herbs are employed in the first two weeks of pregnancy there is still a risk of incomplete abortion. And the further progressed a pregnancy becomes the greater the risk of incomplete abortion.