Who presents more than once? Repeat abortion among women in Britain

Stone, Nicole and Ingham, Roger (2011) Who presents more than once? Repeat abortion among women in Britain Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 37, (4), pp. 209-215. (doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2011-0063). (PMID:21724621).


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BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY: Around one in three sexually active women in Britain will have an abortion during their lifetime and a third of those women will experience more than one. Using data collected during the second National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles the characteristics of women who have presented for a second or subsequent abortion are compared to those women who have obtained only one.

RESULTS: Results indicate that increased age and parity are key characteristics distinguishing between women who have experienced only one abortion and those women who have had more. Findings also reveal that those who have sought abortion on more than one occasion are more likely (than those who have had one abortion) to be Black, have left school at an earlier age, be living in rented accommodation, report an earlier age at first sexual experience, be less likely to have used a reliable method of contraception at sexual debut and report a greater number of sexual partners.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: It is well recognised that attendance at abortion services presents an important opportunity for the provision of individually tailored information regarding contraception to assist women avoid the need for subsequent procedures. However, differential use of abortion services may also indicate variations in knowledge levels, attitudes to risk, attitudes towards abortion, partner communication, gender power and differential access to services. Further research is required to clarify these potential relationships so that suitable health promotion activities can be developed.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2011-0063
ISSNs: 1471-1893 (print)
Related URLs:

ePrint ID: 182485
Date :
Date Event
30 June 2011e-pub ahead of print
October 2011Published
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2011 15:05
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:25
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182485

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