[Feticide procedures in second and third trimesters terminations of pregnancy]

Gynecol Obstet Fertil Senol. 2020 Sep;48(9):687-692. doi: 10.1016/j.gofs.2020.02.009. Epub 2020 Feb 21.
[Article in French]


Performing a feticide as part of termination of late pregnancy is recommended in many countries. Feticide avoids a live birth of a severely affected premature newborn and prevents fetal pain. There are limited data on feticide procedures since only a few countries in the world authorize late termination of pregnancy. The objective of this review was to assess the most appropriate feticide procedure based on published data during the last thirty years. Administration of an initial fetal analgesia followed by a lethal lidocaine injection through the umbilical cord, under ultrasound guidance, appears to be the most effective, safe and ethical way to perform feticide. According to the current knowledge regarding the risk of fetal pain and survival of extremely preterm infants, a feticide should be discussed as early as 20-22 weeks of gestation.

Keywords: Analgésie fœtale; Chlorure de potassium; Fetal analgesia; Feticide; Fœticide; Interruption médicale de grossesse; Late termination of pregnancy; Lidocaine; Potassium chloride; Xylocaïne.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Pregnancy, Multiple