Patterns of contraceptive use before and after an abortion: results from a nationally representative survey of women undergoing an abortion in France

Contraception. 2010 Oct;82(4):337-44. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2010.03.011. Epub 2010 Apr 21.


Background: Using a large national survey of women undergoing an abortion in France, we explore their contraceptive use surrounding an abortion.

Study design: The study comprised a representative sample of 7541 women undergoing an abortion in 2007. We compared their use of contraception before and after the abortion and examined the factors associated with the prescription of a very effective method (IUD, hormonal methods) after the procedure.

Results: Sixty-six percent of women were using contraception in the month they conceived. A third of women reported the same use of contraception before and after the abortion, 54% were prescribed a more effective method, while 14% changed to a less effective or no method at all. After the abortion, 77% of women were prescribed a very effective contraceptive.

Conclusions: Abortion offers an opportunity to improve contraceptive uptake and a chance for providers to adjust their prescriptions according to the difficulties women experience in their use of contraceptives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptive Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • France
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Education
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female