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Contraception. 2009 Oct;80(4):355-62. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.04.005. Epub 2009 Jun 4.

Use of combined oral contraceptives post abortion.

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  • 1Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, 27, Switzerland.



Providing combined oral contraceptives (COCs) following surgical or medical induced abortion offers women an opportune moment to initiate a reliable contraceptive method.


We conducted a systematic review, searching MEDLINE and The Cochrane Library for articles in any language concerning COC use following spontaneous, induced (medical or surgical) or septic abortion, from 1966 through June 2008. Seven articles were identified and evaluated using the United States Preventive Services Task Force system.


Immediate COC initiation after first-trimester medical or surgical induced abortion did not increase side effects or prolong vaginal bleeding compared with use of a placebo, copper-bearing intrauterine device (IUD), nonhormonal contraceptive method or COC initiation at a later time. Initiating COCs after first-trimester surgical abortion produced small increases in coagulation parameters compared with IUD use; although they are statistically significant, their clinical relevance is unlikely. No study examined second-trimester induced or spontaneous abortion, or septic abortion.


Evidence shows that COCs can be safely initiated immediately following surgical and medical abortion in the first-trimester of pregnancy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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