Home use of misoprostol for early medical abortion in a low resource setting: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2016 Feb;95(2):173-81. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12815. Epub 2015 Nov 30.


Introduction: Although home use of misoprostol for early medical abortion is considered to be safe, effective and feasible, it has not become standard service delivery practice. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy, safety, and acceptability of home use of misoprostol with clinic misoprostol in a low-resource setting.

Material and methods: This was a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial conducted in six primary care clinics in India. Women seeking medical abortion within up to nine gestational weeks (n = 731) received mifepristone in the clinic and were allocated either to home or clinic administration of misoprostol. Follow-up contact was after 10-15 days.

Results: Of 731 participants, 73% were from rural areas and 55% had no formal education. Complete abortion rates in the home and clinic misoprostol groups were 94.2 and 94.4%, respectively. The rate of adverse events was similar in both groups (0.3%). A greater proportion of home users (90.2%) said that they would opt for misoprostol at home in the event of a future abortion compared with clinic users (79.7%) who would opt for misoprostol at the clinic in a similar situation (p = 0.0002). Ninety-six percent women using misoprostol at home or in the clinic were satisfied with their abortion experience.

Conclusions: Home-use of misoprostol for early medical abortion is as effective and acceptable as clinic use, in low resource settings. Women should be offered a choice of this option regardless of distance of their residence from the clinic and communication facilities.

Keywords: India; Termination of pregnancy; home administration; low-resource setting; medical abortion; mifepristone; misoprostol.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Abortion, Induced
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Misoprostol / administration & dosage*
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Administration


  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
  • Misoprostol