Midtrimester abortion induced by serial intravaginal administration of prostaglandin E2 suppositories in conjunction with a contraceptive diaphragm.
Midtrimester abortion was successfully induced in 68 of 69 patients with serial intravaginal administration of prostaglandin E2 suppositories behind a contraceptive diaphragm. The mean abortion time for the successful inductions was 13.07 hours; multiparous patients aborted somewhat faster, mean 12.72 hours, as compared to nulliparous patients, mean 14.22 hours. In 36 patients the PGE2 suppositories were placed behind an intact diaphragm and the mean abortion time was 14.89 hours. In 33 patients the PGE2 suppositories were placed behind a diaphragm modified by having an opening incised in the center, the mean time in these patients was 11.96 hours. Of the 68 successful abortions 59% of the patients aborted in 12 hours or less and 88% aborted within 24 hours. The most frequently encountered side effect was temperature elevation of 2 degrees F or higher which occurred in 68% of the patients. Temperatures returned to normal levels within 4 to 6 hours after the last adminstration of PGE2. Gastrointestinal side effects occurred in 45% of patients, but these side effects were well tolerated and did not require termination of drug administration in any of the patients. Intravaginal administration of PGE2 suppositories is a very effective abortifacient technque during the midtrimester, however the use of PGE2 in conjunction with a diaphragm did not appreciabley improve the technique although the amount of drug administered and the incidence of side effects was somewhat lower than when the PGE2 suppositories are used alone. If a diaphragm is to be used, a modified diaphragm is indicated since it simplifies the clinical management of the abortion, eases administration of the suppositories and permits a more accurate estimation of cervical changes, vaginal bleeding and abortion.
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