Jill Durocher

Feasibility of a Hospital Outpatient Day Procedure for Medication Abortion at 13–18 Weeks Gestation: Findings from Nepal

August 26th, 2019
Medication Abortion
Blum J, Karki C, Tamang A, Shochet T, Shrestha A, Tuladhar H, Karki A, Sharma J, Abbas D, Dragoman M, Winikoff B

Contraception; 26 August 2019; Vol. 100:451-456; doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2019.08.007

Objectives: To evaluate the safety, acceptability and feasibility of a one-day outpatient medication abortion service at gestations 13–18 weeks.

Study design: Open-label prospective study in which participants received mifepristone 200 mg orally to swallow at home or at the clinic followed 24 h later by misoprostol 400 mcg buccally. They presented to the outpatient clinic 24–48 h after mifepristone for misoprostol 400 mcg buccally every three hours (no maximum dose). The primary outcome was successful abortion without transfer to overnight inpatient care. Secondary outcomes included time to abortion from initial misoprostol dose, safety, additional interventions and side effects.

Results: We enrolled 230 women from December 2017 to November 2018. Approximately nine of ten (n=206, 89.6%) achieved a successful abortion without transfer to overnight care. Twenty-four were transferred to overnight inpatient care; of these 18 to manage a complication, five for incomplete abortion and two by choice. Among these 24, three women experienced an SAE. The median time to successful abortion from time of the first misoprostol dose was 7.2 h (range: 0.75–92.3), with an average of three misoprostol doses. Most participants expelled the fetus and the placenta at or around the same time; median time between fetal and placental expulsion was 15 min (range: 0–4.5 h). Fifteen participants (6.6%) received more than five misoprostol doses and were transferred to inpatient care. Administration of more than five doses of misoprostol was associated with nulliparity. Provision of antibiotics (27.9%, n=64), manual removal of placenta (15.3%, n=35), uterotonics (4.4%, n=10) and surgical interventions (4.4%, n=10) were also reported. About one in four participants experienced nausea, vomiting and chills; fever was infrequent (2.5%, n=5).

Conclusions: For gestations 13–18 weeks, an outpatient day process for medication abortion is safe, effective and feasible.

Implications: Medication abortion in 13–18 weeks need not be limited to inpatient care; nine of ten cases can be managed as an outpatient day service.