Starting (inducing) labor and delivery in the
second or third
trimester of a pregnancy is done using medicines. To
prevent complications, the cervix may be slowly opened (dilated) with a device
cervical (osmotic) dilator before the induction is
started. Medicines to start early labor can be:
The different medicines available for an
induction abortion may be combined for effectiveness and to decrease the amount
An induction abortion does cause you to go through
the stages of labor and delivery. Pain medicines can be used during the
As your body returns to its nonpregnant
condition, there are changes you can expect during the days and weeks after the
procedure. Normal recovery includes:
After the procedure:
Abortions in the second or third
trimester are usually done because of a medical problem or illness present in
the fetus or the pregnant woman.
Induction abortion is effective in
the second and third trimesters.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E)
is more commonly used in second-trimester abortions. It is safer,
quicker, and more effective than induction abortion.
Risks of induction abortion by injecting
medicines into the amniotic sac include:
Risks of induction abortion by inserting medicines into the
Risks of injecting medicine into a vein
Induction abortions must be done
in a hospital so that you can be monitored during the entire procedure. Less
than 1% of therapeutic abortions in the United States use an induction method.
Induction abortions may be used more in other countries around the world where
skilled health professionals are not available or trained to perform D&E
An induction abortion that is done because of fetal
abnormalities might include time after the procedure for the parents to be with
their child. With an induction abortion, genetic testing and an
autopsy can also be done.
An abortion is
unlikely to affect your fertility. So it is possible to become pregnant in the
weeks right after the procedure. Avoid sexual intercourse until your body has
fully recovered, for at least 1 week or as advised by your doctor. When you do
start having intercourse again, use birth control. And use condoms to prevent
Counseling for a second-trimester abortion may be more
involved than for an early abortion because of the length of the pregnancy and
the reason for the abortion. If you have continuing
emotional reactions after an abortion, seek counseling
from a grief counselor or other licensed mental health professional.
Depression can be triggered when pregnancy hormones
change after an abortion. If you have more than 2 weeks of symptoms of
depression, such as fatigue, sleep or appetite change, or feelings of sadness,
emptiness, anxiety, or irritability, see your doctor about treatment.
Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.
August 31, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Rebecca H. Allen, MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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