HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abortion: ultrasound scan of a human fetus in the womb prior to the termination of the pregnancy. Abortions performed after the first trimester (or 3 months) of pregnancy are induced by cervical injections into or around the amniotic sac. Traditional methods involved the use of saline or types of soap & paste. More recently, prostaglandin injections are given to soften the cervix & cause the uterine muscles to contract. Side effects include vomiting, nausea & diarrhoea. Here, the head of this mid-trimester fetus is at left; an instrument used in the termination appears as the vertical white column at lower right.
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