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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1521-1526

Service provider perceptions of the trend in severity of symptoms and complications in women admitted following an incomplete abortion

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Medical Unit, The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka
3 Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka
4 Institute of Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
5 Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Athula Kaluarachchi
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_188_18

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Background: Sri Lankan abortion law which dates back to the year 1883, and still unchanged, only allows a legal termination when the mother's life is in danger. Many studies undertaken in the country estimates that even in the light of such a backdrop, and with a high contraceptive prevalence rate, many women attempt an abortion when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. This study aims to describe the changes in abortion-related complications in the country over a period of time and explore the reasons for any changes in severity of symptoms among women hospitalized following an abortion based on the perceptions of healthcare service providers. Method: Using an interviewer guide, in-depth interviews were carried out among 30 service providers of post abortion care with more than 5 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology in Sri Lanka. Results: Service providers perceived that the number of women presenting to hospitals after an induced abortion caused by a mechanical method is minimal or not at all at present. Over time, a significant reduction is seen in the number of women presenting with any abortion-related complications and the severity of complications has also reduced significantly. The common method of termination at present identified by the providers was the use of “drugs” or “the drug – Misoprostol.” Conclusion: Over the years, women appear to have switched from surgical and mechanical methods to medical means (drugs) to induce an abortion and this change has contributed to reduce the severity of complications.

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