What is Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)?

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is a safe method of abortion typically used after 14 weeks’ gestation. For D&E, the cervix is softened with agents used to help with dilation. These agents are often administered several hours, or even days, before the procedure. A trained clinician then uses a combination of instruments and Electric Vacuum Aspiration (EVA) to remove the pregnancy. An ultrasound may be used during the procedure. Depending on the gestation of the pregnancy, local anesthetic and/or sedative medication may be used to decrease discomfort for the woman during the procedure.

The availability of D&E depends on the laws or restrictions regarding abortion in different locations around the world. In some places, D&E may be available to women who desire an abortion for any reason, or it may be limited to women who seek an abortion for very specific health indications. [1]

[1] “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems.” World Health Organization, second edition, 2012, www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241548434/en/. Accesed November 2020.


*Nothing provided herein should be construed as professional medical advice and no medication / pills should be used without a prescription from a licensed / registered medical practitioner eligible to prescribe such medication in your local jurisdiction.