Cochrane Summaries

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Medical methods for early termination of pregnancy can be safe and effective

Kulier R, Kapp N, Gülmezoglu AM, Hofmeyr GJ, Cheng L, Campana A
Published Online: 
9 November 2011

There are several different surgical techniques for abortion during the first three months. Several drugs can also be prescribed alone or in combination to terminate early pregnancy. This is called medical abortion, and uses the hormones prostaglandins and/or mifepristone (an antiprogesterone often called RU486), and/or methotrexate. This review of trials found that medical methods for abortion in early pregnancy can be safe and effective, with the most evidence of effectiveness for a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol (a prostaglandin). Almost all of the trials were done in well-resourced settings where women returned for a check-up.

This record should be cited as: 
Kulier R, Kapp N, Gülmezoglu AM, Hofmeyr GJ, Cheng L, Campana A. Medical methods for first trimester abortion. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD002855. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002855.pub4
Assessed as up to date: 
28 February 2010