Medical abortion: home use
Since November 2004, doctors in France and have been allowed to
carry out medical abortions in their private practices at up to 49 days’
amenorrhea provided they have entered into an agreement with a hospital
authorized to carry out abortions.
Two gynecologists in Paris carried out 125 medical abortions
under these conditions between November 2004 and December 2005.
Patients ranged in age from 18 to 45 years and their social
conditions varied widely. The majority had been referred by their general
practitioners. A waiting period was require in all cases and proved extremely
useful since it provided these women, who were extremely anxious after the
discovery of an unwanted pregnancy, to think carefully about their decision to
terminate their pregnancy and with medical abortion. After this period, patients
were given 600 mg of Mifegyne at the doctor’s office. Misoprostol 400µg,
followed by 400µg three hours later, was administered orally 48 hours after
Mifegyne by the patients themselves in their own homes. The patients then
returned two to three weeks later for a follow up visit. All patients were given
a 24-hour telephone number to contact a doctor if necessary and all came back
for the follow up visit.
The success rate was 100%. There were in fact very few telephone
calls (10 patients). These women were satisfied with this personal treatment,
which avoided the lack of privacy associated with hospital settings.
Home use of medical abortion is a new possibility that appears
to be well liked by many women and seems certain to develop.