First trimester surgical abortion: Performed when a pregnancy is less than 14 weeks from the last menstrual period.

Second trimester abortion: Performed when a pregnancy is between 14 and 21 weeks from the last menstrual period.

Vacuum aspiration abortion:This is the surgical procedure performed when a woman is in the first trimester of her pregnancy.

Dilation and evacuation abortion: This is the procedure performed when a woman is in the second trimester of her pregnancy. Two consecutive days are required for completion of D&E.

Gestation: The duration of a pregnancy, calculated from the first day of the last normal menstrual period.

Dilator: Slender rods graduated in diameter and used in succession to gradually stretch open the cervical opening (cervical OS).

Osmotic dilator: This is a dilator that absorbs moisture, expands and causes the cervical canal to open gradually.

Paracervical block: This is a local anesthetic. A series of injections are given into the cervix to minimize the feeling in this area. Most women feel little discomfort with this injection as the cervix has very few nerve endings, although some report a pinching, stinging or dull heavy feeling.

Cervix: The "mouth" or opening of the uterus; the lower portion of the uterus.

Cervical canal: The canal within the uterine cervix that leads to the uterus.

Cervical OS: The opening of the cervix.

Tenaculum: An instrument used by the doctor to grasp and hold your cervix steady.

Vacurette: A hollow tube that is inserted into the uterus to remove the contents.

Pelvic exam: A diagnostic procedure in which the internal and external genitalia are physically examined. A doctor or nurse usually performs this procedure.

Speculum: An instrument used to open the vagina to allow the doctor to see the cervix.

Uterus: The womb; the organ where the fetus develops during pregnancy.

Meadowbrook Women's Clinic, P.A.
825 South 8th Street, Suite 1018
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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