Contraceptive knowledge and attitudes among women seeking induced abortion in Kathmandu, Nepal
Emilia Berin,1,* Micaela Sundell,1,* Chanda Karki,2 Jan Brynhildsen,1 Mats Hammar1
1Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kathmandu Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Objective: To map the knowledge about and attitudes toward birth control methods among women in Kathmandu, Nepal, and to compare the results between women seeking an induced abortion and a control group.
Method: This was a cross-sectional cohort study with matched controls. Women aged 15–49 years seeking medical care at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Kathmandu Medical College were included and interviewed. A case was defined as a woman who sought an elective medical or surgical abortion. A control was defined as a woman who sought medical care at the outpatient department or had already been admitted to the ward for reasons other than elective abortion. A questionnaire developed for the study – dealing with different demographic characteristics as well as knowledge about and attitudes toward contraceptives – was filled out based on the interview.
Results: A total of 153 women were included: 64 women seeking an abortion and 89 controls. Women seeking an abortion had been pregnant more times than the control group and were more likely to have been informed about contraceptives. Women with higher education were less likely to seek an abortion than women with lower education. There was no significant difference in knowledge about and attitudes toward contraceptives between cases and controls. The women considered highest possible effectiveness to be the most important feature when deciding on a birth control method.
Conclusion: Women seeking abortion in Kathmandu had shorter education and a history of more pregnancies and deliveries than women in the control group. Education and counseling on sex and reproduction as well as on contraceptive methods probably need to be improved in Nepal to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Attitudes about contraceptives need to be further investigated to develop better and more effective methods to educate women about family planning in order to increase reproductive health.
Keywords: abortion, contraceptive knowledge, family planning, Nepal
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