Imagine this situation: A woman is pregnant with a baby in the 8th month and the doctors notice the pregnancy is affecting the health of the woman - so there has to be an abortion, for it is sure that the baby will die in the birth process (so you don't have a chance to save the baby) Which method of abortion can be used in this case and how exactly will the surgery be done?

1 Answer 1


8th Month is ~ 32 Weeks, pregnancy is usually ~40 weeks

Up to 15 weeks' gestation, suction-aspiration or vacuum aspiration are the most common surgical methods of induced abortion. (Healthwise, 2004) Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) consists of removing the fetus or embryo, placenta, and membranes by suction using a manual syringe, while electric vacuum aspiration (EVA) uses an electric pump. These techniques differ in the mechanism used to apply suction, in how early in pregnancy they can be used, and in whether cervical dilation is necessary.

From the 15th week of gestation until approximately the 26th, other techniques must be used. Dilation and evacuation (D&E) consists of opening the cervix of the uterus and emptying it using surgical instruments and suction. After the 16th week of gestation, abortions can also be induced by intact dilation and extraction (IDX) (also called intrauterine cranial decompression), which requires surgical decompression of the fetus's head before evacuation. IDX is sometimes called "partial-birth abortion", which has been federally banned in the United States. (Wikipedia, 2016)

In the third trimester of pregnancy, induced abortion may be performed surgically by intact dilation and extraction or by hysterotomy. Hysterotomy abortion is a procedure similar to a caesarean section and is performed under general anesthesia. It requires a smaller incision than a caesarean section and is used during later stages of pregnancy. (McGee, Glenn; Jon F. Merz, 2009)

In places lacking the necessary medical skill for dilation and extraction, or where preferred by practitioners, an abortion can be induced by first inducing labor and then inducing fetal demise if necessary (Borgatta, L, 2014). This is sometimes called "induced miscarriage". This procedure may be performed from 13 weeks gestation to the third trimester. Although it is very uncommon in the United States, more than 80% of induced abortions throughout the second trimester are labor induced abortions in Sweden and other nearby countries (Society of Family Planning, 2011).

Only limited data are available comparing this method with dilation and extraction(Society of Family Planning, 2011). Unlike D&E, labor induced abortions after 18 weeks may be complicated by the occurrence of brief fetal survival, which may be legally characterized as live birth. For this reason, labor induced abortion is legally risky in the U.S.(Society of Family Planning, 2011).

Note, unless there are severe medical complications, an induced birth will be the option because at 32 weeks there is a >95% chance it will live.

Main source: Wikipedia

  • Sorry to have pulled so much form Wikipedia but it does seem to give the best answer.
    – John
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 15:39

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