Journal of South Asian Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 3 ( July-September, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Is Self-medication with over the Counter Abortion Pills Really Safe? An Experience at a Tertiary Care Centre

Renu Gupta, Shaily Agarwal, Ruchika Tahilyani, Namrata Dawani

Keywords : Medical abortion, Over the counter, Self-medication, Unsafe abortions.

Citation Information : Gupta R, Agarwal S, Tahilyani R, Dawani N. Is Self-medication with over the Counter Abortion Pills Really Safe? An Experience at a Tertiary Care Centre. J South Asian Feder Obs Gynae 2018; 10 (3):227-230.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10006-1596

Published Online: 01-08-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Objectives: To study the clinical profile and outcome of patients in terms of maternal morbidity and mortality at a tertiary care center following self-medication of over the counter MTP pills. Materials and methods: This is prospective observational study conducted at Upper India Sugar Exchange Maternity Hospital, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College (GSVMMC or GSVM) Kanpur between January 2016 to June 2017 for 18 months. A total of 587 women were enrolled in our study. Data were recorded with respect to socioeconomic status, clinical presentation and various adverse consequences in the study population. Analysis of a number of blood transfusions, sepsis, shock, anemia, any surgical interventions was done was noted. A questionnaire was prepared in the local language to know the source of information regarding the abortion pill and to analyze the reasons for self-medication. Results: Majority of women were in totoal 30 to 40 yrs age group (54.51%) and were married (81.43%). 52.63% of women did not confirm their pregnancy either by a urine pregnancy test and or by ultrasound self-medication. Total 32.02% had consumed the abortion pill > 9 weeks period of gestation. The maximum number of women had chosen this method to avoid surgical intervention while 89.26% of women used it due to its easy availability without a prescription. The most common complication was anemia (92.5%) followed by sepsis. Conclusion: Easy availability of over the counter medical abortion pills without prescription is a serious threat as it leads to grave consequences of maternal health and significantly contributes to unsafe abortion. Healthcare facilities should undertake measures to reduce the indiscriminate use of medical abortion pills and safeguard the health of the mother.

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