Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Self-managed abortion: A systematic scoping review

Published Web Location
The data associated with this publication are available at:

Self-managed abortion, when a person performs their own abortion without clinical supervision, is a model of abortion care used across a range of settings. To provide a comprehensive synthesis of the available literature on self-managed abortion, we conducted a systematic search for peer-reviewed research in April 2019 in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Popline, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, Scielo, and Redalyc. We included studies that had a research question focused on self-managed abortion; and were published in English or Spanish. The combined search returned 7,167 studies; after screening, 99 studies were included in the analysis. Included studies reported on methods, procurement, characteristics of those who self-managed, effectiveness, safety, reasons for self-managed abortion, and emotional and physical experiences. Numerous abortion methods were reported, most frequently abortion with pills and herbs. Studies reporting on self-managed medication abortion reported high-levels of effectiveness. We identify gaps in the research, and make recommendations to address those gaps.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View