Post-abortion contraception; up-to-date, evidence-based information

Sam Rowlands Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research & Education, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK;, Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden for and on behalf of the European Society of Contraception Expert Group on Abortion

European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 10 February 2017

The European Society of Contraception Expert Group on Abortion identified as one of its priorities to disseminate up-to-date evidence-based information on post-abortion contraception to healthcare providers. A concise communication was produced which summarises the latest research in an easy-to-read format suitable for busy clinicians.

This short communication explains the recommended timing of starting reversible contraceptive methods after abortion. All women should receive information about and be offered a supply of contraception, including emergency contraception, before leaving a healthcare facility. It is safe to initiate contraception immediately after abortion; all contraceptive options may be chosen from, unless there are medical restrictions for an individual woman.

Ideally, contraception should be offered and provided on the same day and in the same place as the abortion procedure. For women undergoing early medical abortion it may be more convenient to initiate their method at the time of mifepristone administration; this timing is not possible or optimal for all methods. If the contraceptive method chosen by the woman cannot be provided on-site, the woman should be given information about where and how she can obtain it, and be offered an interim method.

Individual contraceptive methods are covered in the full text.