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Concept: Abortifacient

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In February 2011, an Ohio law took effect mandating use of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved protocol for mifepristone, which is used with misoprostol for medication abortion. Other state legislatures have passed or enacted similar laws requiring use of the FDA-approved protocol for medication abortion. The objective of this study is to examine the association of this legal change with medication abortion outcomes and utilization.

Concepts: Cohort study, United States, U.S. state, Law, Appeal, Law of the United States, Abortifacient, Legislature

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Objectives To assess self reported outcomes and adverse events after self sourced medical abortion through online telemedicine.Design Population based study.Setting Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where abortion is unavailable through the formal healthcare system except in a few restricted circumstances.Population 1000 women who underwent self sourced medical abortion through Women on Web (WoW), an online telemedicine service, between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012.Main outcome measures Successful medical abortion: the proportion of women who reported ending their pregnancy without surgical intervention. Rates of adverse events: the proportion who reported treatment for adverse events, including receipt of antibiotics and blood transfusion, and deaths reported by family members, friends, or the authorities. Care seeking for symptoms of potential complications: the frequency with which women reported experiencing symptoms of a potentially serious complication and the proportion who reported seeking medical attention as advised.Results In 2010-12, abortion medications (mifepristone and misoprostol) were sent to 1636 women and follow-up information was obtained for 1158 (71%). Among these, 1023 women confirmed use of the medications, and follow-up information was available for 1000. At the time women requested help from WoW, 781 (78%) were <7 weeks pregnant and 219 (22%) were 7-9 weeks pregnant. Overall, 94.7% (95% confidence interval 93.1% to 96.0%) reported successfully ending their pregnancy without surgical intervention. Seven women (0.7%, 0.3% to 1.5%) reported receiving a blood transfusion, and 26 (2.6%, 1.7% to 3.8%) reported receiving antibiotics (route of administration (IV or oral) could not be determined). No deaths resulting from the intervention were reported by family, friends, the authorities, or the media. Ninety three women (9.3%, 7.6% to 11.3%) reported experiencing any symptom for which they were advised to seek medical advice, and, of these, 87 (95%, 87.8% to 98.2%) sought attention. None of the five women who did not seek medical attention reported experiencing an adverse outcome.Conclusions Self sourced medical abortion using online telemedicine can be highly effective, and outcomes compare favourably with in clinic protocols. Reported rates of adverse events are low. Women are able to self identify the symptoms of potentially serious complications, and most report seeking medical attention when advised. Results have important implications for women worldwide living in areas where access to abortion is restricted.

Concepts: Medicine, Pregnancy, Surgery, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Abortion, Abortifacient, Constitution of Ireland

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OBJECTIVE:To present a series of cases demonstrating successful reversal of mifepristone effects in women who chose to reverse the medical abortion process.CASE REPORTS:Four of 6 women who took mifepristone were able to carry their pregnancies to term after receiving intramuscular progesterone 200 mg.DISCUSSION:Mifepristone has been available in the US since 2000. By 2008, approximately 25% of abortions prior to 9 weeks were accomplished with mifepristone. Some women who take mifepristone wish to reverse the medical abortion process. Progesterone competes with mifepristone for the progesterone receptor and may reverse the effects of mifepristone. A PubMed literature search from 1996 to May 2012 did not reveal any trials or case studies evaluating the efficacy of progesterone use to reverse the effects of mifepristone.CONCLUSIONS:Health care professionals should be aware of the possible use of progesterone to reverse mifepristone in women who have begun the medical abortion process by taking mifepristone and then change their minds.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Fetus, Obstetrics, Fertility, Abortion, Progesterone, Abortifacient, Medical abortion

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BACKGROUND: In states requiring physicians to dispense mifepristone, the small number of providers offering the method limits its uptake. In 2008, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa began providing medical abortion via telemedicine at clinics without an on-site physician. The purpose of this study was to evaluate patients' and providers' experiences with telemedicine provision of medical abortion. METHODS: Between October 2009 and February 2010, in-depth interviews were conducted at Planned Parenthood clinics with 25 women receiving medical abortion services (20 telemedicine patients and 5 in-person patients) and 15 clinic staff. Data were analyzed qualitatively for themes related to acceptability of the telemedicine service delivery model. FINDINGS: Patients and providers cited numerous advantages of telemedicine, including decreased travel for patients and physicians and greater availability of locations and appointment times compared with in-person provision. Overall, patients were positive or indifferent about having the conversation with the doctor take place via telemedicine, with most reporting it felt private/secure and in some cases even more comfortable than an in-person visit. However, other women preferred being in the same room with the physician, highlighting the importance of informing women about their options so they can choose their preferred service modality. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study indicate that telemedicine can be used to provide medical abortion in a manner that is highly acceptable to patients and providers with minimal impact on the clinic. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This information demonstrates the feasibility of telemedicine to extend the reach of physicians and improve abortion access in rural settings.

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Pediatrics, Specialty, Abortifacient, Medical abortion

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To evaluate the need for and outcome of self-administered medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol in Brazil, provided through Women on Web, a global telemedicine abortion service.

Concepts: Abortion, Abortifacient, Medical abortion, Mifepristone, Misoprostol, Methods of abortion

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Over the past three decades, medical methods of abortion have been developed throughout the world and are now a standard method of providing abortion care in the United States. Medical abortion, which involves the use of medications rather than a surgical procedure to induce an abortion, is an option for women who wish to terminate a first-trimester pregnancy. Although the method is most commonly used up to 63 days of gestation (calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period), the treatment also is effective after 63 days of gestation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 64% of abortions are performed before 63 days of gestation (1). Medical abortions currently comprise 16.5% of all abortions in the United States and 25.2% of all abortions at or before 9 weeks of gestation (1). Mifepristone, combined with misoprostol, is the most commonly used medical abortion regimen in the United States and Western Europe; however, in parts of the world, mifepristone remains unavailable. This document presents evidence of the effectiveness, benefits, and risks of first-trimester medical abortion and provides a framework for counseling women who are considering medical abortion.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Embryo, United States, Abortion, Abortifacient, Medical abortion, Mifepristone, Methods of abortion

11

In Malawi, abortion is legal only if performed to save a woman’s life; other attempts to procure an abortion are punishable by 7-14 years imprisonment. Most induced abortions in Malawi are performed under unsafe conditions, contributing to Malawi’s high maternal mortality ratio. Malawians are currently debating whether to provide additional exceptions under which an abortion may be legally obtained. An estimated 67,300 induced abortions occurred in Malawi in 2009 (equivalent to 23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44), but changes since 2009, including dramatic increases in contraceptive prevalence, may have impacted abortion rates.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Birth control, Medical statistics, Human rights, Abortion, Maternal death, Stillbirth, Abortifacient

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Abortion is legally restricted in most of Latin America where 95 % of the 4.4 million abortions performed annually are unsafe.Medical abortion (MA) refers to the use of a drug or a combination of drugs to terminate pregnancy. Mifepristone followed by misoprostol is the most effective and recommended regime. In settings where mifepristone is not available, misoprostol alone is used.Medical abortion has radically changed abortion practices worldwide, and particularly in legally restricted contexts. In Latin America women have been using misoprostol for self-induced home abortions for over two decades.This article summarizes the findings of a literature review on women’s experiences with medical abortion in Latin American countries where voluntary abortion is illegal.Women’s personal experiences with medical abortion are diverse and vary according to context, age, reproductive history, social and educational level, knowledge about medical abortion, and the physical, emotional, and social circumstances linked to the pregnancy. But most importantly, experiences are determined by whether or not women have the chance to access: 1) a medically supervised abortion in a clandestine clinic or 2) complete and accurate information on medical abortion,. Other key factors are access to economic resources and emotional support.Women value the safety and effectiveness of MA as well as the privacy that it allows and the possibility of having their partner, a friend or a person of their choice nearby during the process. Women perceive MA as less painful, easier, safer, more practical, less expensive, more natural and less traumatic than other abortion methods. The fact that it is self-induced and that it avoids surgery are also pointed out as advantages. Main disadvantages identified by women are that MA is painful and takes time to complete. Other negatively evaluated aspects have to do with side effects, prolonged bleeding, the possibility that it might not be effective, and the fact that some women eventually need to seek medical care at a hospital where they might be sanctioned for having an abortion and even reported to the police.

Concepts: Medicine, United States, Abortion, Americas, Abortifacient, Medical abortion, Mifepristone, Self-induced abortion

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In November 2013, Texas implemented three abortion restrictions included in House Bill 2 (HB 2). Within six months, the number of facilities providing abortion decreased by almost half, and the remaining facilities were concentrated in large urban centers. The number of medication abortions decreased by 70% compared to the same period one year prior due to restrictions on this method imposed by HB 2. The purpose of this study was to explore qualitatively the experiences of women who were most affected by the law: those who had to travel farther to reach a facility and those desiring medication abortion.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Law, Abortion, Abortifacient, Abortion law, History of abortion, Paternal rights and abortion

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To compare the proportion of medical abortions with a clinically significant adverse event among telemedicine and in-person patients at a clinic system in Iowa during the first 7 years of the service.

Concepts: Fertility, Abortion, Abortifacient, Medical abortion, Hippocratic Oath