Original research article| Volume 94, ISSUE 2, P181-186, August 2016

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Use of contraception among women who request first trimester pregnancy termination in Norway



      Among women requesting pregnancy termination, we studied the proportion of women who reported having used contraception when they became pregnant and the contraceptive method that they had used.

      Study design

      We included all requests for pregnancy termination in Norway during the years 2007–2011 (n=80,346) by obtaining information from the Norwegian Registry of Pregnancy Termination. By using a logistic regression model, we estimated odds ratios for using any contraceptive method associated with the woman's age, previous childbirth, previous pregnancy termination, marital status, employment status and educational level.


      In total, 36.5% of the women who requested pregnancy termination (29,305/80,346) reported having used contraception when they became pregnant. Of all women, 16.6% reported having used the combined contraceptive pill/progestin pill, 11.5% the condom and 1.1% long-acting reversible contraceptives (1.0% intrauterine contraception). Overall, 38.9% of women 20–24 years old had used contraception, compared to 29.9% of women 40–44 years old (odds ratio 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.51–0.60). Previous childbirth, previous pregnancy termination and high educational level were also associated with contraceptive use.


      Among women who requested pregnancy termination in Norway, 36.5% reported having used contraception when they became pregnant. Contraception use was associated with young age and having previously been pregnant.


      A large proportion of women who request pregnancy termination have experienced contraceptive failure. Women who are fertile and do not wish to become pregnant should be offered a contraceptive method that carries low risk of incorrect use.


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