This procedure is generally used after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure will generally be done in a doctor’s office or clinic but may sometimes be done in a hospital. The doctor will often use ultrasound to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy.
To prepare for the procedure, the doctor will open (dilate) the cervix. Most women experience some pain, so the doctor may give you a painkiller — either locally by shots in the area of the cervix or by a general anesthetic — or a sedative (which will leave you conscious). The uterus will be scraped, and the unborn child and placenta are removed. After 16 weeks, the unborn child and placenta are removed, piece-by-piece, using forceps or other instruments. This procedure will take less than an hour.