Second Trimester Abortion
Second Trimester Abortion available to women who are 12 to 16 weeks into the pregnancy.
The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health provides abortion services in both the first and early second trimesters of pregnancy.
All services are outpatient, by appointment only. Please call for available days and times. As of July 1, 2015, Tennessee politicians have imposed a 48 hour waiting period requiring 2 trips to receive abortion services.
Second trimester abortion is a surgical abortion performed by vacuum aspiration.
- This procedure is the safest method available today.
- Patients must now make 2 trips, waiting 48 hours between visits.
- Patients should expect to be in the office for three to six hours for each trip. The first visit you will undergo lab tests, an ultrasound, explanation of the procedure, informed consent and supportive counseling. The second visit will include the abortion procedure and a recovery period.
Rh typing is performed in our on-site lab and is included in the fee. If you have proof of blood type on a donor card, military ID or a lab report bring those results with you.
Cost: The cost for a second trimester surgical abortion changes with each week. Please see the fees page for these costs. Due to the required waiting period and two office visits, the fee is split into two payments. The first visit is $180; the second visit is the remaining fee based on the gestational age at the time of the second visit. Full payment can be made at the first visit, if preferred. There is an additional cost of $65 for those patients whose blood type is Rh negative, requiring a Rhogam injection.
Time Frame: A second trimester surgical abortion procedure generally takes a total of ten to twenty minutes.
Medications: You will use a medication called Cytotec to soften the cervix, which will be used vaginally as directed by the recovery room nurses as well as an oral antibiotic. You will also receive an injection of pain medication, usually Stadol, and Phenergan. This medication is not available to those patients with opiod addictions or on opiod antagonists such as, but not limited to, Suboxone.
You must have a driver in order to be seen for a second trimester surgical abortion.
During the abortion procedure, a female surgery technician will assist you and the doctor. You may also request that a counselor accompany you during the procedure.
Friends and family are not allowed in the surgery suite, but may be kept informed of your progress.
We encourage you to bring only one person with you.
The Second Trimester Surgical Abortion Procedure
- The doctor will begin the abortion procedure by performing a pelvic exam. She/he will insert two gloved fingers into the vagina, gently moving the cervix and uterus towards the top of the abdomen, while pressing on the outside of the abdomen with the other hand. The pelvic exam allows the doctor to determine how far along the pregnancy is, and how your uterus is positioned.
- Next, the doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina, opening it so that she/he can view the cervix. She/he will clean the cervix with a Betadine solution, and numb it using Lidocaine.
- She/he will then begin to dilate the cervix using a series of dilators, beginning with a very small one, and working up to one that is adequate for the number of weeks of the pregnancy. Since the cervix is a muscle, you may experience some cramping (similar to menstrual cramps) at this time.
- Once the cervix is dilated, the doctor will insert a hollow plastic tube into the uterus. This tube is attached to the vacuum aspiration machine, which will then be turned on, and the contents of the uterus will be removed by suction. You may feel a tugging or pulling sensation in your abdominal area at this time. Cramping may also occur as the uterus is beginning to contract.
- When the procedure is complete the doctor will remove all of the instruments.
- You will spend a short amount of time in recovery following the abortion. The nursing staff will monitor your condition, review your aftercare instructions with you, and provide you with your post-op medications, a prescription for pain medication and your selected birth control method.
Safety and Risks
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications that may occur.
In comparison to other surgical procedures, the rate of complications following an abortion is very low. Fewer than 1 in 200 patients have serious complications following this surgery.
In order to minimize the chance of complications, it is very important that you provide us with a complete and accurate medical history, that you follow all of the aftercare instructions we provide you with, and that you have a check-up three weeks after your abortion.
We are committed to safely and completely terminating your pregnancy. If there are problems or complications that arise, we prefer that you call us directly so that we can provide you with the care and treatment necessary to successfully terminate your pregnancy.
As a facility that specializes in abortion care, we are uniquely equipped to diagnose and treat complications that may arise. Should you choose to seek treatment elsewhere, you may incur additional costs and be treated by providers who are less familiar or friendly with abortion care.
A safe, legal vacuum aspiration abortion performed by a board certified gynecologist should not affect a woman’s ability to conceive a pregnancy and carry it to term in the future. Statistics are inconclusive concerning women who have multiple (more than three) abortions.
More information is available from the Alan Guttmacher Institute (www.guttmacher.org), the leading reproductive health research institute in the United States.
Surgical Abortion Informed Consent [PDF SURGICAL CONSENT FORM]