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Second-trimester abortions occur between weeks 12 and 26 of pregnancy. This type of abortion may require multiple office visits, depending on the stage of pregnancy. Your gynecologist will explain what to expect at each step of the procedure.

Doctor speaking to patient

For the first step of a second-trimester abortion, a gynecologist inserts laminaria sticks into the cervix, which cause the cervix to dilate over the course of several hours. Usually, patients receive their laminaria sticks and return home overnight to allow dilation to occur. The following morning, a gynecologist will perform a dilatation and extraction, or D&E procedure, using ultrasound guidance. General, twilight and local anesthesia are all available to help patients stay as comfortable as possible. After the procedure, irregular bleeding may occur for a few weeks, along with cramping. Hormonal changes after the abortion may make you feel emotional.

Washington Surgi-Clinic is committed to providing access to safe, compassionate abortion services in Washington, D.C. For more information about your abortion options and other women’s health services, call (202) 659-9403.