Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Do Meds Reduce Bleeding During Surgical Abortions?

Contraception; ePub 2018 Feb 25; Whitehouse, et al

Most providers in the US routinely use medications to prevent bleeding and use several different regimens to treat bleeding during abortion, a recent study found. 336 abortion providers were emailed surveys on their use of medications to prevent and treat bleeding during first- and second-trimester surgical abortion; 116 (50%) providers responded. Among the findings:

  • Most were obstetrician-gynecologists (83%) working in an academic practice (66%).
  • 63% currently perform abortions up to 22 to 24 weeks gestation.
  • 72% routinely used prophylactic medications for bleeding.
  • 83% of providers who routinely used medications to prevent bleeding commonly chose vasopressin.
  • Methylergonovine was the preferred treatment for excessive bleeding in the second trimester.


Whitehouse K, Fontanilla T, Kim L, et al. Use of medications to decrease bleeding during surgical abortion: A survey of abortion providers’ practices in the United States. [Published online ahead of print February 25, 2018]. Contraception. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2018.02.015.

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