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Change in Medical Abortion Procedure Cuts Infection Rate

Last Updated: July 08, 2009.

The infection rate following medical abortion dropped an aggregate 93 percent after the administration of the aborting agent misoprostol was changed from vaginal to buccal, and infection screening and treatment became routine, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The infection rate following medical abortion dropped an aggregate 93 percent after the administration of the aborting agent misoprostol was changed from vaginal to buccal, and infection screening and treatment became routine, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Mary Fjerstad, of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York City, and colleagues used 2005 to 2008 data from 78 Planned Parenthood affiliates to retrospectively compare the rates of infection following medical abortions using either vaginal administration of misoprostol or buccal administration of misoprostol accompanied by antibiotics and chlamydia screening and treatment.

The researchers found that the infection rate dropped 73 percent (from 0.93 to 0.25 per 1,000 abortions) with the adoption of buccal administration of misoprostol, and then dropped another 76 percent (from 0.25 to 0.06 per 1,000 abortions) after introduction of the screening and antibiotic treatment protocols.

"The rate of serious infection after medical abortion declined by 93 percent after a change from vaginal to buccal administration of misoprostol combined with routine administration of antibiotics," the authors write.

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