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Comparison of uptake of long-acting reversible contraception after abortion from a hospital or a community sexual and reproductive healthcare setting: an observational study
  1. Sharon T Cameron1,
  2. Anna Glasier2,
  3. Anne Johnstone3
  1. 1Consultant Chalmers Sexual Health Clinic, Edinburgh, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Research Nurse, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK 
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sharon Cameron, Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health, NHS Lothian, Chalmers Centre, 2a Chalmers Street, Edinburgh EH3 9ES, UK; sharon.cameron{at}


Background Uptake of the most effective long-acting reversible methods of contraception (LARC) immediately after abortion has been shown to reduce a woman's risk of further abortion. We aimed to compare the uptake of LARC at abortion services from a hospital department of obstetrics and gynaecology and a specialist contraceptive setting of a community sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service within the same city.

Methods Retrospective database review of women (n=2473) requesting abortion who were assessed at either a community SRH service or a hospital department of obstetrics and gynaecology, in the same UK city over a period of 1 year. The main outcome measures were immediate post-abortal uptake of LARC from each site.

Results A higher proportion of women assessed at the SRH service received LARC after abortion [50.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47–0.53%] compared to those attending the hospital site (39.2%; 95% CI 0.36–0.42%; p<0.0001). Amongst women having an outpatient early medical abortion, LARC uptake at the SRH was twice that of the hospital setting (48.4% vs 23.3%; p<0.0001).

Conclusions Higher uptake of immediate post-abortal LARC was observed amongst women who were assessed at the specialist contraceptive service in the community SRH setting compared to the hospital setting. Further research is required to determine the reasons for these observations since all abortion services should provide the same high-quality contraceptive service to women undergoing abortion.

  • abortion
  • family planning service provision
  • long-acting reversible contraception
  • service delivery
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  • Funding This study was supported with funding from the Scottish Department of Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses.

  • Competing interests Sharon Cameron is a member of the European scientific advisory board to Exelgyn and has received independent research grant funding from Pfizer and HRA Pharma. Anna Glasier is a scientific consultant to HRA Pharma.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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