Dilation and Evacuation Abortion

How it works:

Absorbent “sponge” materials are placed into the cervix. The material becomes moist and slowly opens the cervix. The process can take several hours to open the cervix. A second or third application of the sponge material may be necessary to complete the process.

After the cervix has been dilated, medication will be given for pain and infection prevention. A local or general anesthesia will be administered. The baby and placenta are then removed from the uterus. Medical instruments such as forceps and suction curettage are used for this removal method. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to dismember the fetus for thorough removal.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Excessive Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding is common, but heavy bleeding may require further medical attention.
  • Incomplete Abortion: All of the fetus or placenta was not removed during the abortion. Further medical attention will be needed.
  • Internal Infection: Bacteria from the vagina may enter the womb and cause an infection. The risk of infection is increased if a woman has a current untreated STD. Treatment may include antibiotics, surgery, or hospitalization.
  • Torn Cervix: The opening of the womb may be cut or torn during the abortion procedure. This can cause permanent weakening of the cervix.
  • Perforated Uterus: During the abortion procedure, the wall of the uterus may be damaged by a medical instrument, which could lead to infection or excess bleeding. Surgery may be required to repair the damaged tissue.
  • Painful Cramps: Severe cramping may occur.
  • Emotional Consequences: There is an increased risk of depression, suicide, and relationship challenges in some women who have had an abortion.