D & E

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

D & E is a surgical termination of pregnancy in the second trimester: from 14 to 23 weeks.

D & E is usually a two-day procedure. During the first visit, which will take about 15 minutes, the doctor will insert laminaria (thin sticks made from seaweed) into the opening, or cervix, of your uterus. The laminaria gradually widen as they absorb moisture from your body, causing the cervix to widen. You may experience cramping overnight and should go home and rest after the procedure.

The next day, you will be given anesthesia and the doctor will use suction and instruments to empty your uterus. You may have some cramping after the procedure and light to moderate bleeding for about two weeks. Although the procedure only takes about 30 minutes, your entire second visit will last about five hours. You must have someone available to take you home after the D&E. A follow-up visit after the procedure is usually not required.

The risk of complications during this procedure is slightly higher than those in the first trimester, approximately 3-5%.