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Medical abortion in the second trimester.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Hong Kong, China.


The introduction of prostaglandin analogues and mifepristone has changed the management of second trimester abortion in the last 2 decades. Gemeprost and misoprostol are the two most extensively studied prostaglandin analogues that are used in this period. The combination of either gemeprost or misoprostol with mifepristone is most effective. With these regimens, over 90% of women abort within 24 hours and the mean induction to abortion interval is about 6 hours. Mifepristone is expensive and is not available in many countries. Therefore, prostaglandin analogue-only regimens might be the only option. These regimens are still effective with an abortion rate of >90% in 48 hours. However, the induction to abortion interval (15 hours) is much longer. Intra-cervical tents can be used to shorten the induction to abortion intervals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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