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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Aug;187(2):407-11.

Early surgical abortion: efficacy and safety.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Because of concern over the higher rates of failed abortion, many clinicians defer surgical abortion until 7 menstrual weeks or later. We conducted this study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of early surgical abortions that are performed by numerous physicians in a community-based setting.


We prospectively gathered data on all eligible patients who had surgical abortions at <6 weeks of gestation at 3 Planned Parenthood clinics from January 1, 1998, to August 31, 2000. Outcomes were evaluated with the use of proportions with 95% CI and chi(2) analysis.


A total of 1132 women had early surgical abortions during the study interval, and follow-up was available for 750 of those women (66%). Seventeen women (2.3%; 95% CI, 1.4%, 3.7%) had failed attempted abortions. Other complications occurred in 13 women.


Early surgical abortion is safe and effective. In this series, the frequency of complications that required curettage was similar to that reported with mifepristone and vaginal misoprostol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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