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Society of Family Planning Clinical Recommendation: Management of hemorrhage at the time of abortion.

Contraception 2023 September 21
Hemorrhage after abortion is rare, occurring in fewer than 1% of abortions, but associated morbidity may be significant. Although medication abortion is associated with more bleeding than procedural abortion, overall bleeding for the two methods is minimal and not clinically different. Hemorrhage can be caused by atony, coagulopathy and abnormal placentation, as well as by such procedure complications as perforation, cervical laceration and retained tissue. Evidence on which to make recommendations regarding risk factors and treatment for postabortion hemorrhage is extremely limited. The Society of Family Planning recommends preoperative identification of individuals at high risk of hemorrhage as well as development of an organized approach to treatment. Specifically, individuals with a uterine scar and complete placenta previa seeking abortion at gestations after the first trimester should be evaluated for placenta accreta spectrum. For those at high risk of hemorrhage, referral to a higher-acuity center should be considered. We propose an algorithm for treating postabortion hemorrhage as follows: 1) assessment and exam, 2) uterine massage and medical therapy, 3) resuscitative measures with laboratory evaluation and possible re-aspiration or balloon tamponade, and 4) interventions such as embolization and surgery. Evidence supports the use of oxytocin as prophylaxis for bleeding with dilation and evacuation; methylergonovine prophylaxis, however, is associated with more bleeding at the time of ilation and evacuation. Future research is needed on the use and utility of tranexamic acid as prophylaxis and treatment as well as well-designed studies to assess the effect of misoprostol as prophylaxis. Structural inequities contribute to bleeding risk. Acknowledging how our policies hinder or remedy health inequities is essential when developing new guidelines and approaches to clinical services.

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