A comparison of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) and sharp curettage in the management of incomplete abortion.
OBJECTIVES: A prospective longitudinal study was carried out in two Harare hospitals to determine whether manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) was as safe and as effective as sharp curettage for treatment of incomplete abortion. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data were collected over a 3-month period on 589 women treated with sharp curettage for incomplete abortion < or = 12 weeks gestation. One year later, after faculty and staff at the two hospitals were trained to use MVA, data were similarly collected on 834 women treated with MVA for incomplete abortion. RESULTS: Based on procedure-related complications at the time of treatment, MVA was found to be as safe as sharp curettage in treating incomplete abortion < or = 12 week gestation. MVA was more effective than sharp curettage in achieving complete uterine evacuation (0% incomplete evacuations vs. 0.7%, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Given the safety and effectiveness of the MVA procedure and the potential for reducing health care costs and improving patient management, this technology should be considered by health care systems in developing countries for improving treatment of abortion complications.