Louise Bury


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    Marie Stopes International UK Abortion Study: the association between choice of method of abortion, postabortion contraception and the risk of having another unintended pregnancy

    Louise Bury Options Consultancy Services Ltd, London, UK - loulou.bury@gmail.com

    Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore the behavioural, social and service-related factors that are associated with one or more unintended and unwanted pregnancy amongst young women. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 430 women aged 16 - 24. Interviews took place four weeks postabortion and participants were asked about pre and post abortion contraceptive use. Women who had had a previous abortion were also asked about their contraceptive use between their two most recent abortions. Results: More than half of the women (57%) reported to have been using contraception (pill and condom) at the time they got pregnant. There were no differences between women who had had a previous abortion and those having one for the first time. Uptake of contraception postabortion was very high with 86% of women reporting using a method at four weeks for both groups of women. Women who had had a previous abortion were more likely to start using effective contraceptive methods (LARCs) (74% and 59% respectively). More women who had a surgical abortion (than those who had an EMA) left the clinic with a method of contraception (84.7% vs. 68.6%) and more women who had a surgical abortion started to use a LARC method (70.3% vs. 49.5%). 82% of women who had had a previous abortion started to use contraception following their last abortion, but 60% discontinued their method within one year due to menstrual irregularities (LARC) or not renewing a supply (pill). Conclusions: Service providers could explore more innovative ways to support women to use their choice of contraceptive method effectively following an abortion, as well as ensure women who choose EMA are provided with appropriate support and information to easily access LARC if this is their chosen method, as well as being provided with a bridging method of contraception.