Objective: To test the feasibility and efficacy of an approach that foregoes the routine use of ultrasound for the determination of eligibility for medical termination of pregnancy.
Design: Prospective trial.
Setting: Ten termination of pregnancy clinics in the USA.
Population: A total of 4484 women seeking termination of pregnancy with mifepristone-misoprostol.
Methods: Women provided estimates of the date of their last menstrual period and underwent pelvic bimanual and ultrasound examinations. We compared estimates of gestational age using these three methods.
Main outcome measure: Proportion of women of ≤9 weeks' gestation by woman or provider estimate, but >9 weeks' gestation by ultrasound.
Results: The reliance on women's report of their last menstrual period together with physical examination to determine their eligibility for termination of pregnancy with mifepristone-misoprostol would result in few women (63/4008 or 1.6%) accepted for treatment outside the current limits of standard mifepristone-misoprostol regimens used for early termination of pregnancy (i.e. ≤63 days' gestation on ultrasound).
Conclusions: Last menstrual period and physical examination alone, without the routine use of ultrasound, are highly effective for the determination of women's eligibility for early termination of pregnancy with mifepristone-misoprostol.
© 2010 The Authors Journal compilation © RCOG 2010 BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.