Increasing numbers of women having an early medical abortion choose to go home soon after misoprostol administration to expel the pregnancy at home, rather than remain upon the hospital premises. However, data lacks how this impacts upon an abortion service in terms of unscheduled re-attendance rates and contraception provision at discharge.

Researchers conducted a retrospective audit of women undergoing medical abortion over nine months at a National Health Service hospital to determine unscheduled re-attendance rates within six weeks of the procedure for an abortion-related complication and method contraception provided at discharge.

One thousand one hundred twenty-eight women had an early medical abortion, of whom 590 chose EMD. There was no significant difference in unscheduled re-attendance rates between EMD and day-case groups. There was no significant difference in the proportion of women in each group who left the hospital with an effective contraception method.

The study concluded that women undergoing early medical abortion who choose to expel the pregnancy at home are no more likely to re-attend hospital with an after abortion complication and are just as likely to receive effective contraception than those who remain on hospital premises.