Background: This study was conducted to assess the feasibility of using telephone calls combined with high-sensitivity urine pregnancy testing as a primary method of follow-up after medical abortion.
Methods: We enrolled 139 women up to 63 days of gestation to receive mifepristone 200 mg orally and misoprostol 800 mcg vaginally or buccally, per their choice. Participants were contacted by phone one week after mifepristone administration and interviewed using standardized questions. If the subject or clinician thought the pregnancy was not expelled, the subject returned for an ultrasound examination. Otherwise, subjects performed high-sensitivity home urine pregnancy testing 30 days after the mifepristone and were called within 3 days of the test. Those with positive pregnancy tests returned for an ultrasound examination. Those with negative tests required no further follow-up.
Results: Six of the 139 (4.3%, 95% CI 1.6-9.1%) subjects presented prior to Phone Call 1 for an in-person visit. All 133 (100%, 95% CI 97.8-100%) subjects eligible for their first telephone follow-up were contacted. Eight of the 133 (6.1%, 95% CI 2.6-11.5%) women were asked to return for evaluation and all did so (100%, 95% CI 63.1-100%). Eight of the 133 women eligible for the 30 day phone call presented for an interim visit prior to the call. After 30 days, 116 of the 117 (99.1%, 95% CI 97.5-100%) eligible subjects were contacted. One subject was not reached for the day 30 phone call. Twenty-seven of the 116 (23.3%, 95% CI 15.6-31.0%) subjects had a positive pregnancy test and required follow-up. Two of these subjects (7.4%, 95% CI 1.0-24.2%) did not return for in-person follow-up. Two of the 116 (1.7%, 95% CI 0.2-6.1%) subjects had inconclusive pregnancy tests and were asked to return for follow-up. One of these subjects (50%, 95% CI 1.2-98.7%) did not return. Complete follow-up was achieved in 135 of the 139 subjects (97.1%, 95% CI 94.3-99.9%). None of the 26 women evaluated for a positive or inconclusive pregnancy test had a gestational sac or continuing pregnancy.
Conclusion: Telephone follow-up combined with urine pregnancy testing after medical abortion is a feasible alternative to routine ultrasonography or serial serum hCG measurements.