Skip to main content

Table 5 Substances used by RDS participants to induce abortion

From: Women’s experiences seeking informal sector abortion services in Cape Town, South Africa: a descriptive study

N (%) Where substance obtained Categories of type of substance additional medical treatment received (N (%)
13 (31%) Traditional healer Herbal mixtures of unknown content, ranging from 100 to 750 ml. One woman was given instruction to boil abrasive substance mixed with newspaper and swallow it with herbal mixture. 5 (38.5%)
21 (50%)a Home remedies purchased from chemist or shop Herbal remedy
(e.g. Stametta)
7 (33%) 8 (38%)
Dutch remedies
Haarlamans/Versterkdruppels/Essence of life
Vornokroy
Helmins drops
Potassium permanganate
12 (57%)
7 (33%)
2 (10%)
2 (10%)
1 (5%)
Abrasive substances
(e.g. steel wool mixed with oro crush)
3 (14%)
Laxatives
(e.g. Castor Oil and Epsom salts)
4 (19%)
Household cleansing agents 3 (14%)’
Bleach 1 (5%)
Ammonia based items
(e.g. Handy Andy and Jeyes Fluid)
2 (10%)
Alcohol
(e.g. Brandy and Stout)
4 (19%)
Miscellaneous tablets
ARV medication
Hypertension medication
Zifozonke
4 (19%)
1 (5%)
1 (5%)
2 (10%)
7 (17%) Illegal provider Miscellaneous tablets of varying shape, size and color (likely misoprostol) 2 (28.6%)
  1. a multiple responses allowed, percentages may add to >100%