Cervical preparation is recommended prior to second-trimester surgical abortion. Osmotic dilators are an effective means to prepare the cervix, but require an additional procedure and may cause discomfort. The study compared cervical preparation with mifepristone and misoprostol to preparation with osmotic dilators.

This study was a randomized, controlled, non-inferiority trial. It was performed to compare cervical preparation with mifepristone and misoprostol to preparation with osmotic dilators in women undergoing a surgical abortion. The outcome was total procedure time, from insertion to removal of the speculum and operative time, initial cervical dilation, nausea, pain, ease of procedure, and whether participants would choose the same modality in the future.

Medication preparation was not inferior to dilators. Mean operative time and ease of procedure were also similar between groups. More women in the medication group than the dilator group would prefer to use the same method in the future.

The study concluded through its findings that prior to surgical abortion at 15–18 weeks, the use of mifepristone and misoprostol did not result in longer procedure times than overnight osmotic dilators.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/46/1/67