This site is intended for health professionals only

Early abortion discharge ‘not linked to reattendance’

Women undergoing early medical abortion who chose to expel the pregnancy at home do not have a higher rate of unscheduled reattendance with a related complication than those who remain in hospital.


Researchers conducted a retrospective audit of 1,128 women who underwent medical abortion at up to 64 days gestation, between January and September 2010.

Some 590 (52%) of the women studied chose early medical discharge – to expel the pregnancy at home. Of these women, 23 (4%) made an unscheduled reattendance with an abortion-related complication within six weeks.

Of those who remained in hospital, 20 women (also 4%) made an unscheduled reattendance. 

Study lead Dr Sharan Cameron, from consultant in reproductive health at the Chambers Health Centre in Edinburgh, said: ‘Allowing women to go home soon after misoprostol is safe and does not impact upon the emergency service any more than an existing day case medical abortion service already does.’

J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care (2011)