WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION – Medical Management of Abortion

by World Health Organization

Recommendations for the use of mifepristone and misoprostol for inducing abortion and for managing incomplete abortion are contained in the 2012 WHO guideline Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. Evidence related to home use of medication and self-assessment is included in the 2015 WHO guideline Health worker roles in providing safe abortion and post-abortion contraception. However, a number of new studies have been published in more recent years providing evidence related to the timing, dosage, dosing intervals and routes of administration of medications to manage abortion, and also the timing of contraception initiation following a medical abortion. Hence, it was critical for WHO to review the evidence and update its own recommendations. Data that informed the recommendations in this guideline came from a total of 140 studies. It focuses exclusively on medical management of abortion. It provides new recommendations on incomplete abortion at ≥13 weeks of gestation, intrauterine fetal demise at ≥14 to ≤28 weeks of gestation, timing of post-abortion hormonal contraception initiation, and timing of post-abortion IUD placement. It also includes updated recommendations on medical management of incomplete abortion at <13 weeks of gestation, and induced abortion at <12 weeks and at ≥12 weeks.