Medication Abortion Safe Without Ultrasound: Study

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A new study has revealed that women who receive medication abortion pills via mail without an ultrasound perform just as well as those who receive drugs in person. The results of the care are the same whether the women receive it in person or remotely. This study is conducted by researchers from UC San Francisco. This study supports what UCSF’s ANRISH program suggests. It suggests that telehealth for medication abortion is very effective and safe.  

This study was recently published in JAMA. In this study, researchers involved 585 women from Washington, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and Maryland. These women visited clinics between May 2021 to March 2023. Researchers divided them into three groups such as those who received their medication via mail, those who received their medication through telehealth, and those who received their medication in person. The first group was consisted of 288 women who received their medication via mail, the second group was consisted of 199 women who received their medication without an ultrasound but in person, and the third group consisted of 238 women who had an ultrasound and received their medication in person.  

In this study, researchers used a no-test method that is history-based screening without ultrasound. These women also used two drugs such as mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks progesterone and misoprostol causes contractions. 

When researchers observed the results, they found that 95% of participated women successfully completed an abortion. They did not need to repeat the procedure. The results were the same for women who received medications through telehealth and in-person. Researchers also noticed that adverse events were very rare.  

One of the researchers said that medication abortion is safe up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. The medical history of a patient is enough to understand their pregnancy progress without an ultrasound. Telehealth screenings that do not require tests and mailing medications are as effective as in-person care with ultrasound. She further added that this method should be offered to all pregnant women.  

This research clearly shows that medication abortion is very effective and safe. It can be delivered through telehealth. The medications received by mail work just as well as the medications received in person. Hence healthcare professionals should consider the results of this study while dealing with pregnant women who want or need medication abortion.  

Reference Link:  

Lauren J. Ralph et al, JAMA (2024).  

jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/ … 1001/jama.2024.10680