December 2006

Medication abortion in the private sector in South Africa

Blanchard K, Schaffer K, McLeod S, Winikoff B. Medication abortion in the private sector in South Africa. European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care. December 2006; 11(4):285-290.

OBJECTIVES: To collect information about how private physicians in South Africa provide medication abortion services to their patients.

METHODS: In April 2003 we asked physicians in private practice in South Africa who had purchased mifepristone (Mifegyne) from the South African distributor about the medication abortion regimen they offered, satisfaction with the method, and how services have been incorporated into their practices.

RESULTS: Forty-four providers participated in the survey. They report using a range of doses and regimens. Most respondents offer mifepristone-misoprostol to their patients, although a significant minority also offer misoprostol-alone for pregnancy termination. While the majority of medication abortion providers also offer surgical abortions, a significant number of non-surgical providers were only offering medication abortion.

CONCLUSION: South African medication abortion providers find the method acceptable, indicate that their staff are largely supportive of offering it to their patients, and report that clients like the method. Those surveyed believe that most of their patients are eligible for the regimen, although uptake has been limited.

Tagged with Abortion, South Africa