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Second Trimester Surgical Abortion
Also known as In-Clinic or Surgical Abortion
12-24 weeks from last period
After about 14 weeks of pregnancy, an advanced D& E will be performed. It takes longer and may require more than one visit. D&E involves preparation of the cervix with dilators or medications to safely achieve dilation adequate for passage of forceps into the uterine cavity to remove the fetal parts. Cervical preparation may be done over hours or several days, depending on gestational age and the type of clinic. This may be done with dried seaweed sticks (laminaria) which are placed into the cervix and expand, thereby opening the cervix. An antibiotic will be given to prevent infection. To avoid the banned “Partial Birth Abortion” procedure, Doctors may give an injection of digoxin or potassium chloride to stop the fetal heartbeat and ensure fetal demise prior to delivery. The fetal parts are removed with a combination of suction and forceps.
Labor induction method is used if the doctor determines that the age of the fetus is late in the second trimester. Labor induction usually requires a longer stay and is not performed in a clinic setting. Medicine will be given to induce labor.
Risks and Complications
D & E
- Incomplete abortion with retained tissue
- Heavy bleeding
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Organ damage
Labor Induction abortion carries the highest risk for problems, such as infection and heavy bleeding, stroke and high blood pressure. When medicines are used to start labor, the risk of rupture of the womb is greater than during normal childbirth.
Other immediate medical risks may include
- Pelvic infection
- Incomplete abortion
- Blood clots in the uterus
- Heavy bleeding
- Cut or torn cervix
- Perforation of the wall of the uterus
- Anesthesia-related complications
If the labor induction method is used, there is a small chance that a fetus could live for a short period of time.