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Article

Women can safely and effectively self-induce abortion using misoprostol after receiving information from a healthcare provider

In a collaboration with researchers at Ibis Reproductive Health and the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, we documented outcomes of a harm-reduction model of safe abortion care implemented at non-governmental clinics in Lima and Chimbote, Peru. We found that women can safely and effectively self-induce abortion after receiving information from a healthcare provider about how to use the drug misoprostol.

Women who said they were considering ending their pregnancy were evaluated by nurses and given information about ways to use misoprostol that are scientifically shown to be safe and effective for early abortion. They were encouraged to return to the clinic to ensure the abortion was complete, treat any complications and receive contraception. We found that almost 90% of women reported having a complete abortion after taking misoprostol, and very few had medical complications, such as heavy bleeding, infection or severe pain.

The study, titled “A harm-reduction model of abortion counseling about misoprostol use in Peru with telephone and in-person follow-up: A cohort study,” is available online from PLOS ONE.

Banner photo: © Aura Orozco-Fuentes

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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