Methotrexate and misoprostol when surgical abortion fails

Eric A. Schaff, Morris Wortman, Steven H. Eisinger, Peter Franks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the use of methotrexate and misoprostol to induce abortion in pregnancies up to 8 weeks when uterine or cervical anomalies make suction curettage difficult or impossible. Methods: Four consecutive women, 8 weeks pregnant or less and with failed suction curettage, were given methotrexate 50 mg per square meter intramuscularly followed by a misoprostol 800-μg vaginal suppository 72 hours later. A repeat dose of a misoprostol 800-μg suppository was administered on day 4 if there was no bleeding, and an additional dose was given if the repeat β-hCG titer had not decreased by at least 50%. Subjects were followed-up with serum or urine hCG assays. Complete abortion was defined by vaginal bleeding and a negative urine pregnancy test. Subjects completed a daily symptom log and a satisfaction questionnaire when the abortion was complete. Results: The four women referred after failed suction curettage had the following anatomic problems: a uterus bicornis bicollis, a bicornuate uterus, uterine leiomyomas, and cervical stenosis resulting from previous laser surgery. All subjects had a complete abortion from methotrexate and misoprostol. Mild gastrointestinal side effects were reported by all four subjects: nausea (two subjects), vomiting (two), and diarrhea (two). The satisfaction questionnaire revealed that all subjects agreed with the statements that 'Overall, the procedure went well' and 'I would recommend this procedure over a surgical abortion.' Conclusion: Methotrexate and misoprostol can induce an abortion when uterine or cervical anomalies make suction curettage difficult or impossible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-452
Number of pages3
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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