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Glossary

Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) - The D&E procedure is used for second trimester abortions. It is a 2–3 day process that includes preparations to gradually dilate (open) the cervix before the actual abortion.

Gestation - Gestation is defined as the period during which the embryo develops.

Intrauterine device (IUD) - The IUD is made of plastic, with a string attached to one end. The IUD contains either copper wire or progesterone to help it prevent pregnancy. We use the copper IUD (also called Paragard or the Copper-T), which lasts for at least 3-5 years. The IUD is approximately 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. After insertion, an IUD is effective immediately.

An IUD is usually inserted during a menstrual period when the cervix is slightly open and pregnancy is least likely. It may be inserted at any time, however. The procedure for insertion takes about 5-15 minutes. Most women feel cramping during and after insertion. Ibuprofen can help relieve cramping. Picture

Laminaria Tent - Laminaria tent is about 2 inches, rigid, fibre-like stick made out of the seaweed (Laminaria stenophylla). It is used for two and three day procedures when cervix needs to be dilated more. The seaweed property is that it absorbs the moisture when in contact with the secretions of the body, while softening and swelling to several times its diameter. The result is the gradual dilation of the cervix which in turn decreases the chance of cervical laceration and perforation. This is the safest and the least painful way of cervix dilatation as it takes usually 24 hours for it to fully expand. Women might get cramps within those 24 hours so adequate pain killers are prescribed to lessen the discomfort.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) - abortion technique used for pregnancies from 4 to 7 weeks, if applicable.

Rh factor - Rh factor is an antigen that might or might not be present in a human's blood. This factor determines whether a woman needs to get the RhoGam shot or not during her pregnancy.

If she is carrying a baby who is Rh-positive (like the baby's father), the woman's immune system, which fights off invaders to keep her healthy, will recognize her baby's Rh-positive red blood cells as foreign to her Rh-negative blood and will begin producing antibodies intended to destroy her baby's blood cells. If this is the woman's first pregnancy, chances are everything will be fine. These crusading antibodies usually are not dangerous until the second and subsequent pregnancies, when they've had time to grow in strength and number. This why you receive RHOGAM on the day of your procedure in order to neutralize the antibodies and ensure the safety of future pregnancies.

See also

http://www.babycenter.com/rhogam/?_requestid=103539

Speculum - The speculum is a metal instrument that a gynaecologist uses in order to examine the interior and to widen the opening of the vagina so that the cervix is more visible. Ideally, woman should relax her vaginal muscles so that the insertion is less uncomfortable. Picture