'Pregnancy reversals' as practised in some US states could lead to profuse bleeding and hemorrhaging, study finds
In states like Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma, doctors are required to tell patients that a treatment of progesterone can help the pregnancy continue after they have taken abortion medication
A first of its kind study has found that attempts at pregnancy "reversal" endanger women causing them to bleed profusely. After taking the initial mifepristone -- a medication typically used in combination with misoprostol to bring about an abortion during pregnancy -- some states in the US like Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma require doctors to tell patients that in case they change their minds, treatment of progesterone can help the pregnancy continue - but there is no scientific proof to support the claim.
The doctors are also not required to tell their patients if it will work.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have also slammed the practice. Concerned by this practice, researchers decided to do this study.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that using the progesterone hormone to stop a medication-based abortion after the first step is completed in the two-step process, resulted in severe vaginal bleeding - so much so that they had to discontinue the study.
Dr. Mitchell Creinin, lead researcher on the study said, "For now, the level of evidence is still inadequate to support or refute the benefits and risks of progesterone treatment to stop a medical abortion after taking mifepristone. Laws should not mandate counseling or provision of any treatment that claims to reverse abortion when both its efficacy and safety are unclear," NPR reported.
They conducted the study with 12 women who were scheduled to have surgical abortions and before it, they received the mifepristone pill. Then, women were picked at random to either have a placebo or progesterone, which is believed to block out the effects of the first pill. However, three of the women had to be taken to the hospital after experiencing massive bleeding.
There was no evidence found that progesterone could reverse the pregnancy. Usually, the second step of the abortion process is misoprostol, which is supposed to be taken between a gap of 24 hours. Mifepristone, the first step is a progesterone blocker while misoprostol, the second step contracts the uterus. "It's not that medical abortion is dangerous," he said, "It's not completing the regimen, and encouraging women, leading them to believe that not finishing the regimen is safe. That's really dangerous."