Unsafe abortion in Tanzania and the need for involving men in postabortion contraceptive counseling

Stud Fam Plann. 2005 Dec;36(4):301-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2005.00072.x.


Targeting male partners involved in unsafe abortions for contraceptive counseling could be an important strategy for decreasing the incidence of unwanted pregnancies, yet few postabortion-care programs have attempted to involve these men. To assess the need for and determine the content of postabortion contraceptive counseling for men, this study examined the contraceptive knowledge, attitudes, and practices of male partners of women who have had an unsafe abortion. A survey was administered to 213 men accompanying female partners receiving hospital care after having undergone an unsafe abortion in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and 20 of these men participated in in-depth interviews. Sixteen percent of the men surveyed accompanied an extramarital partner, and of those, only 44 percent reported having practiced contraception in the last six months, compared with 81 percent of the men accompanying their wives and 83 percent accompanying their girlfriends. In general, the men wished to support their partners in practicing contraception, and the majority were willing to participate in contraceptive counseling. These findings suggest that male partners should be included in postabortion contraceptive counseling, which should be sensitive to the nature of the partners' relationship, the risk of HIV transmission, and the importance of promoting gender

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Abortion, Induced / education*
  • Adult
  • Contraception / psychology
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pregnancy
  • Safety
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tanzania