oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Socio-democratic characteristics of women presenting with abortion - a hospital based study

Volume 38, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Objective - To determine socio-demographic characteristics and clinical features of women presenting with abortion, and to define factors associated with complications of abortion. Design - A prospective descriptionptive study. Setting - Women in Gynaecology casualty department at Harare Central Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. Patients - 307 women with features of complete or incomplete abortion were interviewed during February to June 1991. They were randomly selected and represented 53 pc of all women with the problem. Results - Three quarters of the women were married and lived with their spouses. In 23.1 pc this was a first pregnancy, Over a quarter of the women who were on the pill claimed to have fallen pregnant whilst on the pill, mainly because of poor compliance. One hundred and twenty-two were not on the pill but in only 16 pc it was intended to fall pregnant In nearly 30 pc the pregnancy was not wanted but only 2.3 pc admitted to having induced the abortion. Sepsis was present in 25.6 pc and they tended to be younger, not presently married and have an unplanned pregnancy. Although there was some evidence of trauma in 6.2 pc, it was not possible from the study to assess the percentage of abortion likely to have been induced. Conclusion - Contraceptive usage is generally low and cultural and traditional factors may play a role, but expanded sex education programmes and continued contraceptive counselling need reinforcing before attempts are made to review the legal issues regarding termination.

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