Third Trimester Procedure

Albuquerque, New Mexico only

Third trimester induction procedure are performed beginning at 24 weeks LMP (5.87 cm BPD). Dilation of the cervix is achieved gently and gradually and appropriate dilation of the cervix must be obtained to reduce risks and complications.

The size of the pregnancy, as determined by the ultrasound done on the first day, and your medical history will be assessed to take the time needed for a safe process. This means you will need to anticipate a longer office visit and a process that will take three or four days.

24 weeks LMP (5.87 cm BPD)-28 weeks LMP (up to 7.24 BPD)

At 24 weeks to 28 weeks, the abortion process takes three to four days. Because of this time frame, we will need to schedule most of our patients needing a third trimester procedure for a morning appointment early in the week. On the first day, an ultrasound will be done to date the pregnancy and your medical history will be taken. This is followed by counseling and lab work. After meeting with the doctor and signing consents, the process is started by inserting laminaria to gently dilate the cervix. Laminaria is sterile, compressed seaweed that is inserted into the cervical canal. The laminaria rods expand by absorbing natural moisture in the cervix. A second, and possibly third, insertion of laminaria will be used to further dilate the cervix as needed. Once the cervix is ready, medications will be administered which will start labor and result in the delivery of a stillborn. On the first day, an injection of Digoxin will also be administered to stop the fetal heart beat.

28 weeks LMP (7.24 BPD) and above

For women over the 28th menstrual week, BPD 7.25 and greater, we provide services on a case-by-case basis. The process is the same as above. Because each case is unique, we ask that women with fetal or maternal indications call our office for a phone evaluation. We will help if we can.

Please contact the office for a fee quote. The National Abortion Federation (NAF) has access to funds for women in financial need. As a member of NAF, we are able to help you assess if you qualify for funding. We can also help you contact any other appropriate funding agencies.

Postoperative Instructions

  • After the abortion you may eat and drink normally. It is best to avoid strenuous activity, avoid lifting over 10 pounds, and avoid spending a lot of time on your feet. Be guided by how you feel.
  • Please put NOTHING in the vagina for at least 7 days.
  • Do not have intercourse
  • Do not use tampons- sanitary pads only
  • Do not douche, go swimming, or take a tub bath- showers are fine.

Follow up appointments are recommended for 1-3 weeks after the procedure (2 weeks is ideal), either at our clinic for no additional cost or through your regular primary care physician.

Every woman bleeds differently. Your bleeding should be like a normal period or lighter. There may be no bleeding at all for 2-3 days. Then it may begin like a normal period for a week. Or you may begin bleeding immediately and this can last 7-10 days. A few women do not bleed at all which is also normal.

Your next normal period should begin in 4 to 8 weeks. If you do not have a period within 8 weeks from the procedure date, please call us. It is possible to get pregnant before your first period begins. Therefore, if you want to avoid another pregnancy now, you should use the means of birth control, which has been advised for you by our counselors and/or your physician. Hormonal birth control methods such as pills, the Depo Provera injection, the Nuva Ring, and the Ortho Evra Patch, may change your cycle. If you have questions please call the office.

Be sure to report if:

  • Your bleeding is heavier than the heaviest flow of a normal period.
  • You continue bleeding longer than two weeks (although it is normal to spot longer)
  • Your temperature is ever 100.4 degrees or more. You have any foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • You have severe pain, or pain unlike menstrual cramps.
  • You soak through a maxi-pad in 1 hour or less
  • If you pass clots that are quarter-sized or larger