Acceptability of suction curettage and mifepristone abortion in the United States: A prospective comparison study

Jeffrey T. Jensen, S. Marie Harvey, Linda J. Beckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We sought to compare the acceptability of suction curettage abortion with that of medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol in American women. STUDY DESIGN: We performed a prospective, serially enrolled, cohort analysis. The study population consisted of 152 subjects receiving mifepristone and misoprostol and 174 subjects undergoing suction curettage abortion aged ≥18 years with intrauterine pregnancies of up to 63 days’ estimated gestation. Questionnaires regarding expectations and experiences were administered before the abortion and at the 2-week follow-up visit. RESULTS: Subjects undergoing medical abortions reported significantly greater satisfaction than those undergoing surgical abortions (mean rank, 121 vs 149; P < .01) but were no more likely to recommend the method they had just experienced to a friend (97% vs 93.3%). If a future abortion was required, however, 41.7% of subjects undergoing surgical abortions indicated they would opt for a medical abortion, whereas only 8.6% of subjects receiving medical abortions would choose a surgical abortion (P < .001). Failure of the abortion decreased satisfaction in the medical group and increased the likelihood of choosing a surgical abortion for a subsequent procedure (P < .001). Surgical subjects who experienced more anxiety than expected during the abortion were more likely to choose a medical procedure for a subsequent abortion (P< .01). CONCLUSION: Women receiving mifepristone and misoprostol were more satisfied with their method and more likely to choose the same method again than were subjects undergoing surgical abortion. Failure of a medical abortion and increased anxiety during surgical abortion were associated with preference for the alternative technique in a future procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1292-1299
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Abortion
  • Acceptability
  • Mifepristone
  • Misoprostol
  • Prospective
  • Suction curettage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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