Second-trimester abortion clinics refer to the in-clinic pregnancy termination between 12 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It is a complicated medical abortion; only 10–15 % of pregnancies are terminated in the second trimester worldwide. Second-trimester abortions contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity compared to first-trimester abortions, especially in developing countries where access to safe second-trimester abortion is limited.
Second-trimester abortions are typically performed over two days during the mid-trimester, 15 to 23 weeks after your last menstrual period. This abortion is also known as dilation and evacuation (D&E).
Reasons for second-trimester abortion:
Second-trimester surgical abortion is the only option to terminate pregnancy in case of miscarriage treatment, elective abortion, fetal malformations, and maternal health concerns.
Second-trimester abortion procedure:
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is a safe procedure for second-trimester abortion, accounting for 95% of abortions in the United States. In this procedure, the patient’s cervix is dilated, and the fetus is removed using suction, similar to a first-trimester surgical surgery.
Surgical instruments may be used as a primary or secondary element of the procedure, which depends on a variety of criteria, including physician’s training, requirements, preferences, dilatation, and gestational age. According to a survey in the United States, 11% of abortions occur during the second trimester, with D&E accounting for nearly 95% of these procedures.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) can be performed within a day. Medications and small dilating sticks called laminaria, or Dilapan, are used to soften and dilate the uterus. This procedure is affected by your medical history and stage of the pregnancy. Laminaria is tiny seaweed sticks that absorb moisture from your body. Dilapan is a synthetic stick that functions similarly to laminaria. The laminaria will remain in your cervix overnight, preparing your body for the next day’s surgical procedure.
Complications after second-trimester abortion:
Second-trimester abortion is more risky and complicated than first-trimester abortion so it’s essential to understand the potential consequences of any elective operation on your body and future health before proceeding before you decide to make unnecessary abortion.
The patient may face immediate complications after a second-trimester abortion, including excessive bleeding, damage to the womb, infection of the fallopian tubes and uterus, scarring and perforations of the uterus, and even death. Sometimes, abortion is not done completely due to surgeon negligence, which requires an additional surgical procedure.
Surgical abortion weakens the cervix, increasing a woman’s risk of future preterm births. Preterm deliveries put the baby’s health in danger. Those who survive have a higher risk of developing major problems such as intellectual impairment, psychological development issues, autism, and cerebral palsy.
Abortion clinics use the most prominent approach of abortion during the second trimester, Dilation and evacuation (D&E), and it is a medically favored and evidence-based approach to abortion since it results in fewer complications for women than alternative procedures. In the United States, most women who have an abortion during their second trimester wish they had done it earlier. Women are increasingly experiencing delays in getting abortion treatment due to state restrictions and D&E prohibitions.