Abortion-related complications are among the common causes of maternal mortality in Malawi. Misoprostol is recommended for the treatment of first-trimester incomplete abortions but is seldom used for post-abortion care in Malawi.
A descriptive cross-sectional study that used mixed methods was conducted in three hospitals in central Malawi. A survey was done on 400 women and in-depth interviews with 24 women receiving misoprostol for incomplete abortion. Convenience and purposive sampling methods were used and data were analysed using STATA 16.0 for quantitative part and thematic analysis for qualitative part.
From the qualitative data, three themes emerged around the following areas: experienced effects, support offered, and women’s perceptions. Most women liked misoprostol and reported that the treatment was helpful and effective in expelling retained products of conception. Quantitative data revealed that the majority of participants, 376 (94%) were satisfied with the support received, and 361 (90.3%) believed that misoprostol was better than surgical treatment. The majority of the women 364 (91%) reported they would recommend misoprostol to friends.
The use of misoprostol for incomplete abortion in Malawi is acceptable and regarded as helpful and satisfactory among women.