1 Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för kvinnor och barns hälsa, Uppsala
2 Karolinska institutet, Institutionen för kvinnor och barns hälsa, Stockholm
3 Mittuniversitetet, Östersund
4 Lunds universitet, Institutionen för hälsovetenskaper, Lund
Bakgrund: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on individual’s sexual and reproductive health in different ways globally. The aim of this study was to investigate if the pandemic has affected Swedish women’s decision to have an induced abortion and their access to contraceptive counselling.
Metod: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted between January and June 2021. Swedish-speaking women seeking an abortion through gestational week twelve at seven different clinics were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire. The questions covered demographic background, abortion decision and contraception.
Resultat: In total, 623 women participated. Among them, 13% (n=77/604) stated that the pandemic had affected their decision to undergo an abortion. One out of ten (11%, n=64/604) stated it had some impact, and 2% (n=13/604) that it had great impact on their decision. The most common COVID-19 related reasons for the abortion were: worsened economy, not wanting to be without their partner in maternity care, and fear of the virus’ health effects. Otherwise, the most cited reasons for having an abortion were poor economy, the pregnancy was too early in the relationship or already completed family size. Only 4% (n=23/517) of the women reported that the pandemic had affected their access to contraception.
Slutsats: The COVID-19 pandemic has partially impacted women’s decision to undergo an abortion, which is otherwise mainly determined by personal circumstances, including economy. Access to contraception was not largely affected by the pandemic, but most women in this study used no method or methods not involving healthcare contact.