Journal Article

A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study to assess the effect of oral contraceptive pills on the outcome of medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol

Oi Shan Tang, Pei Pei Gao, Linan Cheng, Sharon W.H. Lee and Pak Chung Ho

in Human Reproduction

Published on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Volume 14, issue 3, pages 722-725
Published in print March 1999 | ISSN: 0268-1161
Published online March 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2350 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/14.3.722
A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study to assess the effect of oral contraceptive pills on the outcome of medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol

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This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to determine the effect of oral contraceptive (OC) pills taken immediately after medical abortion on the duration of bleeding and complete abortion rate. Two hundred women in the first 49 days of pregnancy were given 200 mg mifepristone orally followed by 400 μg misoprostol vaginally 48 h later. One day later, they were randomized to receive either OC pills (30 μg of ethinyl oestradiol and 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel per tablet) or placebo for 21 days. The complete abortion rates were 98% in the OC group and 99% in the placebo group. The median duration of bleeding was similar: 17 (range: 5–57) days in the OC group and 16 (range: 6–55) days in the placebo group. In the OC group there was a small but significant fall in the haemoglobin concentration by 14 days (5.3 g/dl) after administration of mifepristone. The incidence of side-effects was similar in the two groups. We conclude that the use of OC pills does not decrease the duration of bleeding after medical abortion nor does it affect the abortion rate.

Keywords: mifepristone; misoprostol; oral contraceptive pills; post-abortion bleeding

Journal Article.  2464 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Reproductive Medicine

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