Current and potential methods for second trimester abortion

Lerma K, Blumenthal PD

Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology
May 2019


Medical and surgical methods can both be recommended for second trimester abortion (after 12-weeks of gestational age). Induced abortion with a mifepristone and misoprostol regimen is the preferred approach; where mifepristone is not available, misoprostol alone for medical abortion is also effective. Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is the procedure of choice for surgical abortions, and adequate cervical preparation contributes significantly to safety. Availability of drugs and instruments, ability to provide pain control, provider skill and comfort, client preference, cultural considerations, and local legislation all influence the method of abortion likely to be performed in a given setting. Both surgical and modern medical methods are safe and effective when provided by a trained, experienced provider.