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Objectives: This study aimed to compare the efficacy of oral misoprostol with manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) in first trimester incomplete abortions. Methods: This randomised controlled trial study was conducted at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria between April 2014 and November 2015. Pregnant women who presented with clinical features of incomplete abortion at a gestational age of 13 weeks or less were included. Patients who had profuse vaginal bleeding, an intrauterine device in situ, signs of pelvic infections or who were younger than 18 years old and had no accompanying adults to give informed consent were excluded. A total of 200 participants were randomly and equally allocated to either the MVA or misoprostol treatment group. The treatment group were given 600 μg of misoprostol orally. The primary outcome measure was complete uterine evacuation, while secondary outcome measures included the need for additional surgical evacuation for failed treatment, adverse effects/complications, acceptability of and satisfaction with the treatment. Results: Both misoprostol and MVA had high complete evacuation rates, yet MVA was significantly higher (99% versus 83%, relative risk [RR]: 0.84, confidence interval [CI]: 0.766–0.918; P <0.001). Significantly more women in the misoprostol group required additional MVA for failed treatment than in the MVA treatment group (17% versus 1%, RR: 16.67, CI: 2.260–12.279; P <0.001). No significant difference was found between the misoprostol and MVA treatment groups in terms of satisfaction (92.7% versus 89.8%, RR: 1.04, CI: 0.946–1.127; P = 0.473). Conclusion: Treatments with misoprostol and MVA had high complete uterine evacuation rates, as well as high rates of acceptability and satisfaction. However, MVA had a significantly higher complete evacuation rate than misoprostol.
Keywords: Misoprostol; Abortion Techniques; First Trimester; Incomplete Abortion; Nigeria.