Chapter 3. Recommendations and best practice statements across the continuum of abortion care

Service-delivery options and self-management approaches (3.6)

As indicated throughout this chapter so far, abortion care services can be provided by a range of health workers and some tasks can be managed by individuals themselves. Even for procedures that take place at a health-care facility, some elements of the care (e.g. pre-abortion information and counselling, cervical priming or post-abortion follow-up care) can take place in other locations.

Unlike surgical abortion, medical abortion is a process that takes place over a period of several hours or days rather than being a discrete procedure. The process as a whole or its components can take place at different locations including through self-management and/or with the support of different health workers at various stages of the process, making it possible – and in some cases desirable – to obtain care in a range of different settings, through a wide range of different options.

This section addresses supported service-delivery approaches (section 3.6.1) and self-management approaches. Self-management approaches addressed in this section include self-management of medical abortion (section 3.6.2), and self-management of post-abortion contraception (section 3.6.3).