Jill Durocher

Medication Abortion Employing Routine Sequential Measurements of Serum hCG and Sonography Only When Indicated

February 1st, 2007
Medical Abortion
Clark, W., Panton, T., Hann, L., Gold, M.

Contraception; February 01, 2007; Vol. 75(2):131-135; doi:

Objectives: This study was designed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of providing medication abortion in a primary care site without routine use of pre- and postprocedure transvaginal sonography.

Methods: We performed a retrospective record review of 172 consecutive patients choosing medication abortion at our clinic. Our protocol used sonography only as needed for specific indications. All patients were intended to be followed up with serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) testing pre- and posttreatment.

Results: Of the 151 patients not lost to follow-up, 96 (63%) had pretreatment sonography according to protocol or physician preference and 55 did not. Ninety-nine percent (95/96) of those receiving initial sonography had a successful, and uneventful, medication abortion treatment, while 98.2% (54/55) of those not receiving an initial sonography did so. This difference was not statistically significant (.597 by one-sided Fisher's Exact Test). All 119 of the women who did not receive postabortion sonography aborted completely. Only 4 of the 91 women who had both pre- and postprocedure hCG measurements, all of whom aborted successfully, had follow-up-to-initial hCG ratios of greater than 0.2 (20%).

Conclusion: Using a clinical protocol that involves obtaining pre- and posttreatment serum hCG measurements, with sonograms only when indicated, has similar outcomes to a protocol that uses mandatory pre- and posttreatment sonograms.