Risk factors for complications of induced abortions in Nigeria

Type Journal Article - Journal of Women's Health
Title Risk factors for complications of induced abortions in Nigeria
Volume 14
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Page numbers 515-528
URL http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.515?2
Background: The prevalence and risk factors for unsafe abortions and their complications are not well defined.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of patient-reported reproductive history was conducted in three hospitals in southwest Nigeria from 1998 to 1999. Data on pregnancy outcomes and sociodemographic characteristics were collected for 1836 women ages 15–49 seeking family planning and antenatal services. Independent predictors for complications from induced abortion of first pregnancies were analyzed using logistic regression models.

Results: Four hundred twenty-four women (29.7%) terminated their first pregnancy. As many as 43.1% of women unmarried at first pregnancy had an abortion, and being unmarried at pregnancy was the strongest predictor of abortion in the adjusted model. Almost 30% experienced complications at the time of abortion (heavy bleeding, high fever, and other), and 22.9% reported complications subsequent to and within 6 weeks of abortion. Heavy bleeding and 6-week complications were significantly associated with age at pregnancy, circumcision, and religion, and 87.6% of women with 6-week complications reported complications for 1 day. Type of provider was the sole significant predictor of fever, and doctor provider reduced the risk of fever. Induced abortion and related complications were common despite the widespread provision by doctors.

Conclusions: Policies and programs should address improving abortion practices and postabortion care, increasing contraceptive use, and reducing the practice of female circumcision

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