December 2019

Self-managed abortion: A systematic scoping review

Moseson H, Herold S, Filippa S, Barr-Walker J, Baum S, Gerdts C. Self-managed abortion: A systematic scoping review. Science Direct. 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2019.08.002

Abstract: Self-managed abortion, when a person performs their own abortion without clinical supervision, is a model of abortion care used across a range of settings. To provide a comprehensive synthesis of the available literature on self-managed abortion, we conducted a systematic search for peer-reviewed research in April 2019 in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Popline, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, Scielo, and Redalyc. We included studies that had a research question focused on self-managed abortion; and were published in English or Spanish. The combined search returned 7167 studies; after screening, 99 studies were included in the analysis. Included studies reported on methods, procurement, characteristics of those who self-managed, effectiveness, safety, reasons for self-managed abortion, and emotional and physical experiences. Numerous abortion methods were reported, most frequently abortion with pills and herbs. Studies reporting on self-managed medication abortion reported high-levels of effectiveness. We identify gaps in the research, and make recommendations to address those gaps.