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- abortion, induced
- contraception behavior
- family planning services
- Reproductive Health
- Sexual Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in many ways globally. In a survey conducted in 29 countries across the world, access to abortion was limited in approximately half of all countries, and 86% reported that access to contraceptive services was affected.1 In the UK, one out of four young adults reported that their access to contraception had been limited due to COVID-19.2
We investigated if the pandemic affected Swedish women’s decision to have an induced abortion and their access to contraceptive counselling. Swedish-speaking women (n=623) seeking a first-trimester abortion at seven clinics in different parts of Sweden, filled out an anonymous 39-item paper questionnaire with both multiple choice and open-ended questions on demographics, abortion and contraception between January and June 2021. The regional Ethical Review Board concluded that no formal ethical approval was needed as the questionnaire did not include any personal data (Dnr 2020–05951). The overall response rate among those invited was 92%. Percentages are presented in relation to number of women responding to specific questions.
During the previous 12 months, 43% (n=230/623) of women had experienced symptoms of COVID-19, but fewer than 19% had a verified diagnosis. Among the …
JNH and ET contributed equally.
Contributors The authors were involved in the study activities listed. JNH: methodology, data analysis, interpretation of results, writing manuscript and editing. ET: data collection and recruitment of participants, methodology, data analysis, interpretation of results and writing manuscript. KG-D: conceptualisation, methodology, interpretation of results, review and editing. ML: conceptualisation, methodology, interpretation of results, review and editing. MM: recruitment process, methodology, interpretation of results, review and editing. IS-P: conceptualisation, methodology, interpretation of results, review and editing. TT: conceptualisation, data collection and recruitment, methodology, interpretation of results, review and editing. MER: conceptualisation, data collection and recruitment, methodology, funding acquisition, project administration, interpretation of results, writing manuscript and editing.
Funding The Family Planning Fund in Uppsala, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University.
Competing interests KG-D has received consulting fees and/or payment or honoraria from Bayer, MSD, Gedeon Richter, Mithra, Exeltis, MedinCell, Cirqle, Natural Cycles, Exelgyn, Campus Pharma and HRA-Pharma. KG-D has been involved in data safety monitoring boards or advisory boards of Gedeon Richter and Bayer. KG-D has had reading roles (unpaid) for FIGO, WHO HRP/SRH, the European Society for Contraception and Reproductive Health, FIAPAC and FSRH/RCOG (UK). IS-P has served occasionally on advisory boards or acted as an invited speaker at scientific meetings for Asarina Pharma, Bayer Health Care, Gedeon Richter, Peptonics, Shire/Takeda and Sandoz. None of the other authors report any conflicts of interest.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.