For pregnancies between 16 and 24 weeks, we use the dilation & evacuation (D&E) method of abortion. The process is similar to aspiration abortion. In a D&E abortion, we perform a pelvic exam, dilate/open the cervix, and remove the pregnancy using a combination of vacuum/suction aspiration and additional instruments. Since the cervix will need to be dilated more, we usually dilate the cervix overnight making this a two-day procedure.
What to Expect from a D&E Abortion
On the first day you will come into the office, have an ultrasound, bloodwork, consultation with a healthcare provider, and have cervical dilator sticks placed into the cervix. You will then go home, to a friend/family member’s house, or to a nearby hotel to rest overnight while the dilator sticks work. You will then return to the clinic the next morning where those dilator sticks are removed and the remainder of the procedure is performed. We understand that a 2-day process may be more stressful and burdensome, however, 2 days are necessary because this approach greatly reduces the risk of complications from the procedure.
You should be able to return to regular daily activities within 1 to 2 days, and you should expect some cramping and bleeding following the procedure.