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Access to contraception and sexual and reproductive health information post-abortion: a systematic review of literature from low- and middle-income countries

Abstract

Aim This systematic literature review documented, analysed and critiqued the accessibility of contraception and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information for women living in low- and middle-income countries who have undergone medical or surgical abortion.

Methodology This review systematically collated relevant and recent empirical evidence regarding women's access to contraception and SRH information post-abortion within low- and middle-income countries. The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) framework Guidelines, Flow Diagram and Checklist were utilised to undertake the review. The Ovid (MEDLINE), ProQuest, Science Direct, Web of Science, PUBMED and CINAHL databases were searched and studies that met edibility criteria were assessed for validity and analysis. A narrative synthesis of characteristics and results of the included studies is presented.

Findings After detailed assessment of available and relevant literature, nine studies were selected for inclusion in the review. Studies highlighted barriers to contraception and SRH information including supply limitation, lack of comprehensive education and counselling, lack of skilled post-abortion care (PAC) providers and abortion stigma.

Conclusions The review found that with access to a wide range of contraceptive methods combined with comprehensive SRH information and education, contraception uptake in women post-abortion does increase. The review also highlights the inconsistencies in clinic-reported ‘counselling’ and what this term actually involves within a PAC setting.

  • post-abortion care (PAC)
  • contraception
  • family planning
  • sexual and reproductive health (SRH)
  • sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

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