Contraceptive Use among Women Seeking Repeat Abortion in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Ndola Prata
  • Martine Holston
  • Ashley Fraser
  • Yilma Melkamu


Limited access to modern contraceptives in populations that desire smaller families can lead to repeat unintended pregnancy and repeat abortions. We conducted an analysis of the medical records of 1,200 women seeking abortion-related services in public and private facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from October 2008 to February 2009. We examined the characteristics of initial and repeat abortion clients including prior contraceptive use and subsequent method selection. The incidence of repeat abortion was 30%. Compared with women seeking their first abortion, significantly more repeat abortion clients had ever used contraceptives and they were nearly twice as likely to leave the facility with a method. However, repeat abortion clients were significantly more likely to have ever used short-term reversible methods and to choose short-term methods post-abortion. Contraceptive counseling services for repeat abortion clients’ should address reasons for previous contraceptive failure, discontinuation, or non-use. Post-abortion family planning services should be strengthened to help decrease repeat abortion.

Keywords: abortion, repeat abortion, contraception, urban, Ethiopia

(Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[4]: 56-65)

Author Biographies

Ndola Prata
Associate Professor in Residence, & Scientific Director, Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 229 University Hall, 6390
Martine Holston
The Bixby Center, 17 University Hall, School of Public Health, University of Califonia, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
Ashley Fraser
17A University Hall, School of Public Health, University of Califonia, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
Yilma Melkamu
International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1118-4841