n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Contraceptive use and reasons for termination of pregnancy among women attending a reproductive health clinic at a district hospital, Free State, South Africa

Volume 18 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies happen in all societies, regardless of medical, economic, educational or religious status. The reasons for seeking termination of pregnancy (TOP) vary with the majority of women seeking TOP for socio-economic reasons. This article seeks to identify the reasons for women seeking TOP and to establish their knowledge and use of contraceptives. It is a descriptive study conducted at a reproductive health clinic at a district hospital in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa. In total 534 patients attending the clinic between April to June 2007 participated. Data were collected through a questionnaire, which included demographics, age at first sexual encounter and first pregnancy, reasons for seeking TOP, and knowledge and use of contraceptives. The results are summarised by frequencies and percentages. Most participants (64.2%) were between 20 and 29 years, single (75.8%) and unemployed (44.4%). Participants had their first sexual encounter (82.4%) and first pregnancy (51.3%) at the age of 20 years. Three-quarters were aware of contraceptives; only 37.1% used contraceptives to prevent the current pregnancy. The most frequently mentioned reasons for the TOP were: 'I am still at school', 'Partner not prepared for the parenthood', and 'Not supported by the family'. Although women knew about contraception, the use of contraceptives by participants of this study is low compared with the contraceptive prevalence rate in the country. Interruption of studies, problems in the relationship and nonacceptance of the pregnancy by the partner were the most frequent reasons for requesting TOP.

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