Article| Volume 39, ISSUE 1, P155-160, July 2019

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Early versus delayed follow-up after misoprostol treatment for early pregnancy loss

Published:March 11, 2019DOI:


      Research question

      Does extending the follow-up after misoprostol treatment for early pregnancy loss increase the success rate?


      Patients who had experienced early pregnancy loss (<12 weeks) and were treated with misoprostol in a single university-affiliated medical centre were prospectively followed before and after the implementation of a new treatment protocol extending the follow-up from 1 to 2 weeks. All patients received misoprostol 800 μg vaginally on day 1 and a second dose, when needed, on day 4 or 8. Patients underwent surgical aspiration after 1 week in the early follow-up group (n = 84) or 2 weeks in the delayed follow-up group (n = 85) if complete expulsion was not achieved (defined as endometrial thickness ≤15 mm and absence of gestational sac on transvaginal sonography). The primary outcome was treatment success, defined as no need for surgical aspiration.


      Women in the delayed follow-up group had a higher rate of successful treatment compared with women in the early follow-up group (88.2% versus 76.2%, respectively; P = 0.040), and a lower rate of second dose administration (32.9% versus 51.2%, respectively; P = 0.016). The incidence of non-expulsion of the gestational sac was also lower in the delayed follow-up group (1.2% versus 10.7%; P = 0.009). Treatment acceptability did not differ between the study groups.


      In women with early pregnancy loss treated with misoprostol, extending the follow-up protocol from 1 to 2 weeks resulted in an increase in treatment success.


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      Yossi Mizrachi is a resident in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center, affiliated with Tel-Aviv University, Israel. His main research interests are reproductive medicine and early pregnancy loss.
      Key message
      Extending the follow-up protocol after misoprostol treatment for early pregnancy loss from 1 to 2 weeks resulted in higher success rates and reduced the need to administer a second dose. Patients and clinicians can be reassured that a delay in follow-up maximizes the chance of complete expulsion.