What is misoprostol? Key side effects and common uses

Misoprostol and medical abortion - a safer choice?

Whether to terminate a pregnancy is probably one of the most difficult decisions a woman can face, with many opposing factors and emotions influencing their choice. In the UK, women can make this decision knowing that they will receive support in a safe and secure medical environment. Imagine that decision when also faced with the likelihood of injury, infection or even death.

Some women's' health organisations are trying to improve worldwide access to medications that cause abortion, thereby supporting women to terminate their pregnancy as safely as possible.

Most democratic countries are pro-choice when it comes to a woman's decision whether or not to continue with their pregnancy. In these countries women can access local medical services which will ensure any termination is performed safely. There are always risks with a termination, but these are balanced against the potential risks, both physical and emotional, of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy.

But for millions of women around the world, living in countries where abortion is still illegal or culturally taboo, there is little or no access to a safe medical abortion. Instead, women put their lives in danger with unsafe surgical procedures performed by unqualified persons in contaminated conditions. Without going into the many moral and ethical arguments for and against abortion, could the medicine misoprostol offer a safer choice for these women and re-balance the risks?

Read on to find out more about misoprostol.

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