Medical abortion or vacuum aspiration? Two year follow up of a patient preference trial

F L Howie, R C Henshaw, S A Naji, I T Russell, A A Templeton
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1997, 104 (7): 829-33

OBJECTIVE: To describe and compare health outcomes two years after medical abortion or vacuum aspiration in women recruited into a patient preference trial during 1990 to 1991.

DESIGN: Women recruited to the original, partially randomised study were contacted for assessment using a structured interview.

SETTING: Grampian region of Scotland, UK.

PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and forty women who had participated in a partially randomised study of first trimester abortion two years previously.

INTERVENTION: Vacuum aspiration or medical abortion using mifepristone and gemeprost.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Long-term general, reproductive and psychological health; acceptability of procedure; perceived value of choice of method of termination.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences between women who had undergone medical abortion or vacuum aspiration two years previously in general, reproductive or psychological health. Almost all women placed a high value on the provision of choice of method of termination. There was a significant difference in perception of long term procedure acceptability among women who had been randomised to a method of termination.

CONCLUSIONS: Women should have the opportunity to choose the method of termination. This opportunity will result in high levels of acceptability, particularly at gestations under 50 days of amenorrhoea.

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