How do you know if you have a continuing pregnancy?

Continuing pregnancy is a pregnancy that continues to develop even after the use of Mifepristone and Misoprostol. In this case, the abortion has failed completely and the woman remains pregnant. Even if you bleed, you can still have a continuing pregnancy. Bleeding does not mean that you have had a successful abortion. If you still have symptoms of pregnancy such as sore breasts or nausea, you may be experiencing a continuing pregnancy. You should have an ultrasound within a week or do a pregnancy test 3 weeks later to confirm that the pregnancy has ended. Most pregnancy tests that are done 3 weeks after the abortion are reliable. It is necessary to wait 3 weeks after the abortion because the pregnancy hormones can remain in the body and can make the pregnancy test falsely positive.  If the pregnancy test is still positive after 3 weeks, it is important to get a medical evaluation right away as you may have an ectopic pregnancy, which can be dangerous.


If you have an ongoing pregnancy after you did a medical abortion you can try to do a medical abortion again or have a surgical abortion. Although the risk is very low and only slightly higher than that of a normal pregnancy, Misoprostol can increase the risk of fetal malformations.[1] If possible, we advise women with continuing pregnancies to undergo surgical or medical abortion to terminate the pregnancy.


[1]Continuation of pregnancy after first-trimester exposure to mifepristone: an observational prospective study.”Bernard NElefant ECarlier PTebacher MBarjhoux CBos-Thompson MAmar EDescotes JVial TBJOG 2013;120:568575.