Module 2: Early Medical Abortion
1. Learning objectives and module overview
What is an Early Medical Abortion (EMA)?
An EMA is the evacuation of the uterus using the medicines mifepristone (an anti-progesterone) and misoprostol
(a prostaglandin) in early pregnancy. EMA usually occurs in the community, most often in the pregnant person’s home
An EMA can be carried out from 28 days to 70 days after the last menstrual period (LMP).
Some possible reasons for choosing a medical instead of a surgical abortion
- It usually requires no surgery
- It requires no sedation or anaesthesia
- It has the potential for greater privacy
- Some people feel it gives them greater control over their bodies
- It may feel more “natural” for some people
Module overview and learning objectives
In this module you will learn about supporting patients through the EMA process. The first section describes the
medicines used, and is followed by details of the process, including the pre-abortion assessment (also covered
in Module 1 but present here with a focus on EMA), doses used and pain management recommendations.
The next sections describe aftercare and management of complications, and the final section summarises
information to be communicated to the patient to ensure that they are fully informed about what to expect
during the EMA and afterwards.
A review of key learning points and further reading options and resources are included with this module, along
with a short quiz to revise your knowledge and understanding of providing EMA in New Zealand.
- Support patients through the EMA process
- Describe the range of what to expect during EMA with the patient
- Assess for completion of EMA
- Assess and manage common complications of EMA