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Optimal Pain Control for Medication Abortion

Pain is often cited as one of the worst features of medication abortion, yet little is known about optimal pain management during the medication abortion process. Optimal pain management is important not only to improve quality of care for people undergoing medication abortion, but also to limit unnecessary clinical care visits that may result from inadequate pain management. ANSIRH is collaborating with researchers at the World Health Organization and in three countries, Nepal, Vietnam, and South Africa, to complete a randomized, placebo-controlled trial to identify effective methods for medication abortion pain control. The trial results will enable an evaluation of two prophylactic pain management regimens compared to use of pain medication as needed. Further details on the design of the trial are published here. Data collection is now complete, analyses are ongoing, and results are forthcoming. Also forthcoming are the results of a series of interviews that the research teams conducted with a subset of survey respondents in each country (both nulliparous and parous women) to better understand pain experiences.