Research Article| Volume 40, ISSUE 4, P439-447, October 1989

Blood loss following induction of early abortion using mifepristone (RU 486) and a prostaglandin analogue (gemeprost)

  • Mary W Rodger
    University of Edinburgh, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre for Reproductive Biology, 37 Chalmers Street Edinburgh EH3 9EW — UK
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  • David T Baird
    Correspondence and reprint requests to: D.T.Baird.
    University of Edinburgh, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre for Reproductive Biology, 37 Chalmers Street Edinburgh EH3 9EW — UK
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      The pattern and amount of blood loss following induction of therapeutic abortion using mifepristone (RU 486) and a prostaglandin E analogue (gemeprost) was studied in 222 women of less than 63 days amenorrhoea. A single oral dose of mifepristone (400, 500 or 600 mg) was followed 48 hours later by a half or 1 mg gemeprost vaginal pessary. Complete abortion occurred in 218 (98%) women without necessity for surgical evacuation of the uterus. Bleeding commonly occurred following administration of mifepristone and prior to prostaglandin administration. The median duration of bleeding following abortion was 13 days with a range of from 1 to 44 days. There was a wide individual variation in measured blood loss between women, from 14 to 512 ml, with a median loss of 74 ml. The amount of blood loss was independent of the dose of mifepristone or prostaglandin but was significantly correlated with gestation. These results confirm that the combination of mifepristone and gemeprost is a highly effective and safe method of inducing therapeutic abortion medically. As the amount of blood loss increases with increasing gestation, it is suggested that its use should be restricted to women with amenorrhoea ≤ 56 days.
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