Objective: To characterize the sonographic appearance of the uterine cavity after uncomplicated first-trimester abortion.
Methods: Women who underwent uterine evacuation for first-trimester abortion were referred for endovaginal sonographic examination within the week after the procedure. Special attention was directed to characterizing the intrauterine cavity. Demographic and clinical parameters were collected. A repeated postmenstrual examination was carried out in selected cases.
Results: In all, 57, 10, and 7 sonographic examinations were performed after termination of pregnancy, incomplete (spontaneous) abortion, and missed abortion, respectively. Fifty-seven (77%) of the 74 examinations showed considerable amounts of intrauterine content with various echogenicities (anteroposterior thickness range, 7-61 mm). No association could be documented between the pattern of appearance and gravidity, parity, gestational age, or type of abortion procedure. All postmenstrual reevaluations of patients with excessive amounts of intrauterine material at the initial examination (n = 7) showed empty intrauterine cavities.
Conclusion: Within the week after first-trimester abortion, the uterine cavity is seldom empty. Thick heterogeneous material is an expected finding after examination. By being familiar with this normal range of appearances, clinicians can avoid unnecessary repeated invasive evacuation procedures. A follow-up sonographic evaluation during the follicular phase of the next menstrual cycle is recommended to confirm the absence of retained products of pregnancy.