Population based retrospective cohort study: adverse events in adolescents and adults having medical abortions
Is medical abortion safe in adolescents?
Surgical or pharmacological methods can be used to induce abortion. Medical abortion is a relatively new technique that is becoming more popular. It generally entails a combination of an antiprogestin agent (mifespristone) in combination with a prostaglandin analogue (misoprostol). This induces uterine contractions and expulsion of the products of conception.
Although success rates for medical abortion are high, complications include haemorrhage and incomplete abortion, both of which may require urgent medical treatment. As with other medical or surgical procedures, complications depend on patient characteristics, such as age. Younger patients may, for example, be less prone to complications but also less likely to seek medical advice when they occur.
The authors of this study wondered if the incidence of specific adverse events differed for women under 18 compared with women 18 or older.1
Previous research by the authors showed that both forms of abortion were associated with few adverse events when