H. Dewart et al.


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    Final stage of early medical abortion at home : womens experiences and impact on a hospital abortion service

    H.Dewart , S.T.Cameron, A.Glasier and A.Johnstone - Dean Terrace Centre, NHS Lothian, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Department of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, University of

    Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    Background and methodology: Research has shown that many women would prefer to be at home rather than in hospital, to pass the final stage of an early medical abortion. A pilot was therefore conducted over six months at a hospital abortion service in Edinburgh, Scotland, that allowed women up to 8 wks gestation to be discharged home soon after misoprostol administration. An anonymous questionnaire of womens’ experiences was conducted one to two weeks later. An audit of the numbers of abortions performed by each method, during the pilot and the same period the previous year, was also conducted.

    Results:A total of 250 women chose to go home after misoprostol. This corresponded to 34% of the total number of women having an early medical abortion.  A 24% increase in the total numbers of women having a medical method (n=142) was observed compared to the same period the previous year. A total of 100 women completed questionnaires out of 145 distributed (69%). The commonest reasons given for choosing to go home were, to have treatment sooner (53%) and to be in the privacy of one’s own home (47%). Most women stated that bleeding (81%) and pain (55%) were as, or not as bad as expected. Most would recommend this method to a friend (84%).

    Discussion and Conclusions: Discharge home for the final stage of a medical abortion was highly acceptable to women. Since availability is not limited by hospital bed space, more women can be treated by medical methods