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Knowledge and practices among medical abortion seekers in southeastern Nigeria

Nigeria has restrictive abortion laws; unsafe abortion and its complications are major public health challenges. Access to reproductive health services in Nigeria, including medical abortion, is poor. We determined the socio-demographic characteristics, patterns of abortion practices, and experiences of medical abortions among abortion seekers in southeastern Nigeria. We carried out a descriptive, cross sectional survey of 100 consecutive medical abortion seekers in southeastern Nigeria. Subjects had a mean age of 23.5 + 4.4 years. Fifty-five percent of respondents were students. Sixty-four percent had a secondary educational level, 33% had a tertiary education level and 3% had a primary educational level. Fifty-eight percent of subjects were ages 18-20 years at coitarche; 25% had one or more previous deliveries and 49% had a previous termination of pregnancy. Forty-eight percent had used drugs for pregnancy terminations. Drugs used for termination included quinine combined with other drugs in 8%; gynaecosid alone in 6%, gynaecosid combined with other drugs in 6% menstrogen combined with other drugs in 6% and an unclassified drug in 14%. Thirty-three percent of subjects purchased their abortion drugs in a pharmacy. Three percent, 2%, and 0% of subjects had a knowledge of misoprostol, mifepristone and methotrexate, respectively. One percent of respondents had used misoprostol. We detected serious information gaps regarding abortion and poor access to reproductive health services. There is a need for policies and program to bridge this gap, and a need for revision of the present Nigerian abortion law.

More information

  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Country/Region: Nigeria
  • Accessible: Yes
  • Source: Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. March 2012, Volume 43, Issue 2: Pages 471-8
  • Link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mathew_Okoh/publication/232526247_Knowledge_and_practices_among_medical_abortion_seekers_in_southeastern_Nigeria/links/0046352cc41aab21e1000000.pdf
  • Language: English
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2012 Author(s)   Adinma ED, Adinma JI, Iwuoha C, Akiode A, Oji E, Okoh M. In Article Key words