Is it safe to get a consultation for a medical abortion over the internet?

 

A consultation on the internet is very similar to a face to face consultation. In the online consultation the doctor asks you questions in order to get all the information needed to make sure you can safely have a medical abortion. The doctor depends on the information you give, as is also the case in a face to face consultation.

There are few reasons why you might not be able to take the medicines that cause an abortion. You should not use the medicines if:

  • someone is forcing you to end your pregnancy.
  • the first day of your last menstrual period was more than 9 weeks ago.
  • you have an allergy to Mifepristone, Misoprostol, or prostaglandins.
  • you have one of the following diseases: chronic adrenal failure, hemorrhagic disorders or bleeding disorders/diseases, Inherited Porphyries, severe anemia, or severe untreatable asthma. (It is highly unlikely that you have one of these diseases and do not know it yet.)
  • you have an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the womb).
  • you can not get to a hospital or first aid centre within an hour.
  • you are alone. You should ask a partner, friend or other trusted person to stay with you while you use the medicines.

When you have an intrauterine device (IUD), if possible, we advise to have it removed before using the medicines.

Medical abortions performed in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy have a very low risk of complications. This risk is the same as when a woman has a natural miscarriage. These problems can easily be treated by a doctor. 

Out of every 100 women that do medical abortions, 2 or 3 women have to go to a doctor, first aid center, or hospital to receive further medical care. In countries where childbirth is safe, 1 in every 10.000 women dies during childbirth. Less than 1 in every 100,000 women who use a medical abortion die, making medical abortions safer than childbirth and about as safe as naturally occurring miscarriages. This means that a safe abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol is always lifesaving.

 

More scientific information:

Screening women for contraindications on the internet is very similar to the screening process at a face-to-face visit between a doctor and a patient. The doctor generally finds out about contraindications by asking the patient if she has any of these medical conditions. “All contraindications to Mifepristone-Misoprostol, aside from gestational age…are uncommon and based on medical history and therefore should already be known to women. Indeed, doctors screen women mainly by asking them if they have the conditions." 7