Women's reproductive health needs in Russia: what can we learn from an intervention to improve post-abortion care?

Health Policy Plan. 2007 Mar;22(2):83-94. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czm003. Epub 2007 Feb 13.


It has been well documented that abortion is a common means of controlling fertility in Russia. Women undergo repeat abortions throughout their reproductive lives, but recent studies of abortion trends in the Russian Federation suggest that abortion rates are on the decline, use of modern contraceptives is increasing, and women dislike abortion as a method of fertility control. Using data collected during 1999-2003 in women's health facilities in three Russian cities, this paper reports the results of an evaluation of interventions to improve post-abortion care, which show an impressive increase in post-abortion contraceptive counselling but no reduction in the rate at which women present at clinics for repeat abortions. The findings indicate a discrepancy between women's stated preferences for modern medical contraceptive methods and their abortion-seeking behaviour. Further exploration of these data suggests that certain women resort to abortion with greater frequency than others, and points to the need for a more focused investigation of these women. These results indicate the complexities associated with changing what has been a relatively common and long-standing practice, and have implications for improving reproductive health services. Meeting the reproductive health needs of Russian women requires not only improved provider and client knowledge but may also demand a more focused delivery of client-centred care than may be the case in other settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Postanesthesia Nursing*
  • Reproductive Medicine*
  • Russia