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second trimester abortion is performed any time between 12 and 26 weeks. This is past the point at which a woman can have a medical abortion with medications, and so a minimally invasive procedure is necessary. When you speak with your gynecologist about pregnancy termination, she will give you all the information you need to prepare for the procedure and have a healthy recovery.

A doctor trying to speak to a patient and calm her

Consultation and Exam

A second trimester abortion can usually be performed in two visits, although sometimes three visits are needed. Occasionally, just one visit is necessary. First, you’ll speak with the gynecologist about the procedure. Take your time learning about it and what you can expect, and ask any questions you have. You’ll have a physical exam, including an ultrasound exam.

Medications and Alcohol Use

You may be asked to adjust your medication dosage schedule, if applicable. Let the gynecologist know about all over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed medications you’re using, along with your supplements, if applicable. Some medications can interfere with blood clotting, and you may be asked to temporarily discontinue these. You should also avoid alcohol use for 24 hours prior to the procedure.

Laminaria Insertion

Laminaria sticks are thin, sterile rods made of seaweed. Your doctor may need to insert them into your cervix and leave them there overnight before performing the rest of the procedure the next day. They work by gently dilating the cervix . If you’ve taken a prescription pain reliever or anti-anxiety medication for the laminaria insertion, someone else will need to drive you home. You’ll be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight. A responsible adult should drive you to the clinic the next day. Before your procedure, you’ll have your choice of local, conscious, or general anesthesia.

Women choose Washington Surgi-Clinic because of our commitment to the highest standards of patient care and safety. Our abortion providers in Washington, D.C. are highly trained, board-certified doctors who firmly believe in giving each patient the compassionate and respectful care she deserves. Schedule an appointment today by calling (202) 659-9403.

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