A second-trimester abortion is done between 12-27 plus weeks of pregnancy. The procedure sometimes can involve two or three consecutive office visits all depending on ultrasound information and patient medical history, although some patients are able to have the procedure completed in one visit. In both cases, we use only sterilized surgical instruments and sterile, one-use-only disposable plastic uterine curettes.
Steps of the Procedure
During the first step of the procedure, sterile, disposable laminaria sticks are gently inserted into the cervix to dilate or open it. Once the laminaria sticks are in place inside the patient’s cervix, a period of time elapses to allow the laminaria sticks to gradually dilate the cervix. The patient usually returns to our office the following morning for the second step of the second-trimester abortion.
While performing the second step of the procedure the gynecologist, with special expertise in second-trimester abortions, uses a method called dilatation and evacuation (D&E). D&E is the safest method for second-trimester abortions. In order to increase the safety for our patients, we always use ultrasound guidance during every second-trimester abortion.