Comparison of oral and vaginal misoprostol after oral mifepristone in early medical abortion

Nithya J., Reddi Rani P.


Background: Abortions are still a major problem in developing countries contributing to significant maternal morbidity and mortality. WHO has reported that 53 million unplanned pregnancies result in termination each year. One third of these are performed under unsafe conditions. Deaths related to these accounts for up to about 20% of the maternal deaths that occur each year throughout the world. the main objective of the present study is to compare the efficacy, side effects and acceptability of oral and vaginal misoprostol after single oral dose of mifepristone in induction of abortion in pregnancy up to 63 days.

Methods: It was a prospective randomized trial of 100 healthy women opting for termination of pregnancy with ultrasound confirmed intrauterine gestation of less than or equal to 9 weeks who were randomized in to two groups. Mifepristone 200mg was administered on day one followed by 800µg of misoprostol orally or vaginally 48 hours later. They were reviewed on day 7 and day 14 by ultrasound for completeness of abortion. If abortion was incomplete or bleeding was excessive, surgical evacuation was performed.

Results: The two groups were comparable with respect to age, parity and gestational age. The mean induction abortion interval was 51.2 hours.98% of the women in both the groups had complete abortion.  Nausea (68%) and vomiting (58%) were more common in oral group. Diarrhoea (60%) was common in vaginal group. None of them had fever. Mean duration of bleeding was 9 days. 92% of the women found the procedure to be highly acceptable and would recommend it to others.

Conclusions: Medical abortion with 200mg mifepristone in combination with 800µg of misoprostol either orally or vaginally 48 hours later was found to be safe, simple, effective, inexpensive, noninvasive and acceptable method.


Induction abortion interval, Mifepristone, Misoprostol

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