Context: The method of abortion has rapidly changed from surgical to medical termination of pregnancy (MToP) in several countries; today 95% of abortions are MToP in Finland.
Objective: Intensity of pain, need of analgesics, evaluation the adequacy of ibuprofein and paracetamol, and patient satisfaction. Comparison of teenagers vs. adult women. These are the results of an interim analysis of the first 97 patients of the study.
Methods: This prospective study evaluates pain during MToP in early pregnancy (<64 days of gestation). Altogether 120 primigravid women are being recruited. The ratio of teenagers (15-19 year-olds) and adult women (25-35 year-olds) is 1:1.
MToP was carried out according to the Finnish national guideline. The medication consists of 200mg of mifepristone administered at the outpatient policlinic followed by 0,8mg of misoprostol vaginally or orally at 24-72 hours primarily at home. Ibuprofein (600mg) and paracetamol (1g), both up to three times/day were used for pain management. First doses are taken simultaneously with misoprostol and thereafter whenever needed. Pain is measured by visual analogue scale (VAS), which is reported in a diary each time patient needs analgesics.
Results: The highest pain reported by VAS was 78±18 (mean±SD) among teenagers and 66±27 among adult women (p=0,005, VAS 70-100mm); 48% vs. 19% of the patients reported severe pain. Nevertheless 77% of teenagers and 65% of adults evaluated the analgesia as adequate and the overall satisfaction with the care received was high in both groups (VAS 85±12 vs. 85±15; p=0,311).
Altogether 88% vs. 93% would choose MToP again.
Conclusions: Women and especially teenagers undergoing MToP experience strong pain already in early pregnancy. Even though teenagers experience more pain they more often estimate that the combination of ibuprofein and paracetamol is adequate.