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Reprod Health Matters. 2008 May;16(31 Suppl):196-204. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(08)31385-8.

An historical overview of second trimester abortion methods.

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Department of Woman and Child Health, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The methods used for abortion in the second trimester have changed considerably in recent years. The surgical procedure dilatation and evacuation (D&E) has replaced hysterotomy. Instead of injecting different compounds, such as hypertonic saline, prostaglandin analogues are administered by non-invasive routes. The most effective medical method is combining a prostaglandin analogue with mifepristone. The consequence of these developments is that abortion in the second trimester can be be performed significantly more effectively and that the currently recommended methods being used are associated with fewer side effects and complications.

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