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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Jul;27(5):510-2.

Efficacy of a single misoprostol regimen in the first and second trimester termination of pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Rita's Hospital, Glen Cowie, South Africa.


A total of 273 women underwent termination of pregnancy (TOP) with a single regimen of misoprostol (400 microg orally and 800 microg vaginally), without mifepristone. A total of 98 (35.9%) were first trimester and 175 (64.1%) second trimester gestations. Of these women, 189 (69.2%) responded to a single administration of misoprostol and 84 (30.8%) required between two and six administrations of misoprostol. The medical TOP was complete in 90.8% of all cases. A surgical intervention was needed in 23 (27.4%) of those requiring repeated administrations of misoprostol vs only two (1.1%) of those responding to a single administration. Age, parity and gestational age did not affect the response rate to the misoprostol regimen. The need for a D&C was related to the response to misoprostol: most D&Cs were needed in cases of repeat administrations of misoprostol. This study shows the feasibility of medical TOP in the developing world. It has the great advantage of significantly reducing the need for surgical termination where the required skills are scarce.

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