Abortion by Labor Induction (Including Intra-Uterine Instillation)

This procedure is generally used after 16 weeks (LMP) of pregnancy and before the viability of the unborn child, unless such abortion is necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent impairment to her health.

In a medically induced abortion, medicines will be used to start labor. Labor induction may require a hospital stay. These medicines can be put in the vagina, injected in the uterus (womb), or given into the vein (intravenously or by IV). The medicines used cause the uterus to contract and labor to begin. More than one drug might be used.

This procedure may take from several hours to several days.
Your doctor may find it necessary to use instruments to scrape the uterus and make sure that the unborn child, placenta, and other contents of the uterus have been completely removed.

Possible Complications of Abortion by Labor Induction

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Anesthesia - related complications - very rarely.
  • A cut or torn cervix (cervical laceration) - very rarely.
  • Blood clots in the uterus - very rarely.
  • Adverse reactions to the medications - very rarely.
  • Heavy bleeding - very rarely - a hemorrhage develops; medication, repeated vacuum aspiration, surgery or blood transfusion might be needed.
  • Infection - very rarely - medication for the infection, or in rare cases, vacuum aspiration might be needed.
  • Fertility can be diminished in very rare instances as a consequence of infection.
  • Very rarely - emergency treatment for any of the above problems, including the possible need to treat with an operation, medicines, or a blood transfusion.
  • Very rarely - death.

Who should not have an abortion by medical induction?

Some women should not have a medical induction such as a woman who has had previous surgery to the uterus or a woman with placenta previa (misplaced placenta). You should discuss with your doctor if you are one of these women.


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