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Contraceptive risk-taking in women and men facing legal abortion
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
2001 (English)In: European journal of contraception & reproductive health care, ISSN 1362-5187, E-ISSN 1473-0782, Vol. 6, no 4, 205-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The aim of the study was to gain knowledge about contraceptive use, reproductive risk-taking and sexuality in Swedish women seeking abortion and their partners.

Methods: Two hundred and eleven women and 75 men answered a questionnaire before the abortion. The data have been divided into six subgroups: women with and without previous experience of abortion, single women and women with a partner relationship, and women whose partner participated in the study and the male partners.

Results: The main findings showed that there are more similarities than differences between the subgroups. Overall, there were no differences regarding use of contraceptives, sexual life and psychosocial characteristics. However, women with previous abortion experience were found to be older, had longer partner relationships and more often had children. Some gender differences were also found, i.e. women favored coitus-dependent contraceptives to a larger extent and took more responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancies. At the time of conception, half the participants had not used any contraceptive methods and one-fifth had relied on 'natural family planning'. The most common reasons for not using contraceptives were related to risk-taking and/or to strong sexual desire. Twelve per cent of the women had felt pressure/threat from their partner in connection with the conception.

Conclusion: In efforts to prevent undesired pregnancies, this study highlights the need to incorporate a gender perspective both in communication about risk-taking and in counselling about contraceptives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare , 2001. Vol. 6, no 4, 205-218 p.
Keyword [en]
Induced abortion, contraception, risk-taking, male, reproduction, gender
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-41793DOI: 10.1080/ejc.6.4.205.218PubMedID: 11848650OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-41793DiVA: diva2:407810
Available from: 2011-04-01 Created: 2011-04-01 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Paradoxes in legal abortion: a longitudinal study of motives, attitudes and experiences in women and men
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Paradoxes in legal abortion: a longitudinal study of motives, attitudes and experiences in women and men
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: About one in four pregnancies in Sweden are terminated by legal abortion. However, women seeking abortion constitute a relatively invisible group. This is even more accentuated when it comes to the men involved in induced abortion.

Aim: The general aim of the present thesis was to investigate psychosocial background, current living conditions, motives, attitudes and experiences of legal abortion in women and men.

Methods: The five papers included in the thesis are based on a questionnaire study and a longitudinal interview study. Women seeking abortion were asked consecutively as they come to the hospital for the first time if they were willing to participate in the questionnaire study, which ultimately included 211 women and 75 men. The interview study comprised 58 women and 26 men and was conducted just after abortion and four and twelve months later.

Results: Most women and men had stable partner relationships and adequate finances. More than half were married or cohabiting and already had children. About half the women gave motives for abortion related to family planning. They wanted either to postpone childbirth or limit the number of children so they would be able to combine good parenting with professional employment. Motives for abortion in men were strikingly in accordance with the women's motives. Most men were in favour of abortion, 20 stressed they supported the decision and two wanted the woman to continue the pregnancy. Contradictory feelings in relation to both pregnancy and the coming abortion were common in women as well as men, but were very seldom associated with doupts about the actual decision to have an abortion. Social perspectives, connected with responsibility for all concerned (the foetus included) were found to legitimise the decision to have an abortion, whilst positive feelings in relation to the pregnancy and ethical perspectives concerning the rights of the foetus made in more difficult. In addition, the complexity increased in cases when the abortion could be simultaneously experienced as both a relief and a loss. However, at the follow-ups, the majority of the women did not report any emotional distress, either directly after the abortion or four or 12 months later, and the predominant reactions were relief and mental growth. As concerns contraceptives, about half the respondents had not used any contraceptive method at the time of conception. Common explanations for not preventing pregnancy were: thought it was a safe-period or let sexual feelings take over or took a chance. Furthermore, in 12 % of cases, the woman had felt pressure or threat from the man in connection with the conception.

Conclusions: Women resort to legal abortion in all kinds of psychosocial contexts. The motives reveal that women and men want to have children with the right partner at the right time and to limit the number of children. Despite painful and contradictory feelings almost no one regretted the abortion, either directly after the abortion or one year later. It is essential that both clinical work and research are open to contradictory feelings and paradoxical thinking in relation to abortion. In addition, it is necessary also to focus on the involvement and role of the males in order to obtain a proper picture of the phenomenon of abortion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2002. 59 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 779
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47362 (URN)91-7305-212-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-04-19, Rosa salen, plan 9, tandläkarhögskolan, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
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Note

Härtill 5 uppsatser

Available from: 2011-09-20 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2015-04-09Bibliographically approved

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