Abortion at 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 Weeks

There are two procedures that can be used at 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 weeks of your pregnancy.  The first is called a Late Medical Abortion and can be used from 13 weeks into your pregnancy.  The second is called Surgical Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) and is available from 15 weeks into your pregnancy.

Late Medical Abortion

The two drugs, Mifepristone and Prostaglandin, that are used in the early abortion/abortion pill method are used again in later pregnancies but you will have to take more than one dose of prostaglandin for it to work.  Taking these drugs works in the same way as with the abortion pill but the abortion will take longer.

This method results in an abortion which is similar to having a late natural miscarriage. You will experience bleeding a little heavier than your usual period.

When can I go home?

You should still recover quickly with this treatment and go home the same day but sometimes an overnight hospital stay is needed.

Surgical Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

This procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic so it carries the same risks as with any medical surgery.

How is this procedure carried out?

Your cervix, the entrance to the neck of your womb, is opened or dilated.  Then the doctor will use forceps, which are a bit like a pair of tongs, and a suction tube to remove the foetus from your womb. 

Although this is a surgical procedure it doesn’t take very long, usually only around 20 minutes.

Will the procedure be painful?

You won’t feel anything as you will be asleep under the general anaesthetic.  You might experience some period type pains after the treatment but these should subside quickly and be eased with normal painkillers.

When can I go home?

If there are no complications and you are healthy you might be able to go home the same day.  However as you will have had a general anaesthetic you should make sure you have someone with you just in case you don’t feel totally normal. 

You might find that you will experience some vaginal bleeding for a couple of weeks after the abortion.

Your clinic will give you written information on what you can expect to experience after the abortion and what to do if you are worried or concerned about anything.

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