Induced abortion and contraception: survey of 576 young women in Naples

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Obstetrics and Gynecology Institute, Second University of Naples, Italy.

The aim of the study was to investigate the link between induced abortion and contraceptive methods. Five hundred and seventy-six women who underwent induced abortions at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Institute of the Second University of Naples were interviewed. They were asked about their knowledge of contraception methods; age, school attendance rate and marital status were also considered. The women were 27.8 (mean age) years old, high school educated (58.5%), married (41%), nulliparous (63%). Twenty-four percent of the women admitted a previous induced abortion. Withdrawal (176 women), condoms (104) and oral contraceptives (74 women) were the most widely used contraceptive methods. Withdrawal (37%) resulted in being the most utilized method during the cycle in which conception occurred; no method had been employed by 31% of the women. We found that 35% of the women had used their contraceptive method in a regular way but become pregnant nevertheless. Another group of 40% had forgotten to use their contraceptives for a few days and became pregnant by accident. In the last group of 25% of the women had not used any contraceptive methods. The diffusion of modern methods of fertility regulation influences the number of induced abortions as shown by its reduction since 1982. Our data confirm that induced abortion is the consequence of an insufficient use of modern contraceptives. Therefore more information is necessary to get women and men to use contraceptive methods regularly.

Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1999;26(3-4):221-4.

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