Jill Durocher

Simplified Medical Abortion Using a Semi-Quantitative Pregnancy Test for Home-Based Follow-Up

May 1st, 2013
Medication Abortion
Lynd, K., Blum, J., Ngoc, N.T., Shochet, T., Blumenthal, P.D., Winikoff, B.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet; 2013 May; 121(2):144-8; doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.11.022

Objective: To simplify follow-up after medical abortion by examining whether women could use a semi-quantitative pregnancy test at home to screen for ongoing pregnancy.

Methods: Three hundred women seeking medical abortion at a tertiary hospital in Vietnam participated in the study. Participants used a semi-quantitative pregnancy test at the hospital to estimate baseline human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels and administered another test at home 2 weeks later for comparison. Women interpreted the test result at home and then returned to hospital for follow-up care. At this visit, self-assessment was verified. To assess further the feasibility of the test as a follow-up tool in service delivery, 200 additional women completed a user comprehension survey.

Results: The tests identified all 11 ongoing pregnancies among study participants (100% sensitivity; 89.7% specificity). Women reported that the test was easy to use (255/292 [87.3%]) and that provider instructions helped them to use the test (291/292 [99.7%]).

Conclusion: Semi-quantitative pregnancy tests offer high sensitivity and negative predictive value. If user instructions can be further simplified, the tests could be used in lieu of transvaginal ultrasound and/or serum hCG at clinic-based follow-up or by women themselves for home-based follow-up.