SECOND TRIMESTER ABORTION METHODS
2nd Trimester Medical Abortion Methods
This medical method can be performed 13 or more weeks after the last menstrual period and uses drugs to cause labor and delivery of the fetus and placenta. It usually involves 10 to 24 hours in the labor and delivery unit of the hospital.
Digoxin or potassium chloride is injected into the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord or fetal heart prior to labor to prevent delivery of a live fetus. Occasionally, scraping of the uterus is needed to remove the placenta.
Potential complications include hemorrhage, the need for blood transfusion, retained placenta, and possible uterine rupture.
2nd Trimester Surgical Abortion Methods
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): This is the most commonly performed method for second trimester abortions.
Up to about 16 weeks gestation, the procedure is identical to the first trimester suction abortion one with the following addition: After the cervix is stretched open and the uterine contents suctioned out, any remaining fetal parts are removed with a grasping tool (forceps).
After 16 weeks, much of the procedure is done with the forceps to pull fetal parts out through the cervical opening, as suction alone is not sufficient due to the fetus’ size. Lastly, a curette and/or suction machine are used to remove any remaining tissue or blood clots, which if left behind could cause infection and bleeding.
For more information on second trimester abortion methods, call 770.723.0772 to make an appointment.