Pharmacy access to medical abortion from trained providers and post-abortion contraception in Nepal

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2018 Nov;143(2):211-216. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.12595. Epub 2018 Aug 2.


Objective: To examine whether auxiliary nurse-midwife provision of medical abortion in pharmacies was associated with reduced post-abortion contraceptive use in Nepal.

Methods: The present prospective observational study compared contraceptive use among women aged 16-45 years and up to 63 days of pregnancy, who presented at one of six privately-owned pharmacies or six public health facilities in the Chitwan and Jhapa districts of Nepal for medical abortion between October 16, 2014, and September 1, 2015. Participants obtained medical abortions per Nepali protocol and completed a follow-up visit and interview at 14-21 days. Effective contraceptive use was compared between abortion care settings using multivariable mixed effects logistic regression.

Results: Of 605 participants, 600 completed follow-up at 14-21 days; 474 (79.0%) were using a contraceptive method, most commonly pills (180 [30.0%]) and injectables (175 [29.2%]), followed by condoms (82 [13.7%]), long-acting reversible methods (33 [5.5%]), and sterilization (4 [0.7%]). Receipt of care from a private pharmacy was not associated with a difference in the use of hormonal or long-acting methods (adjusted odd ratio 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.60-1.33).

Conclusion: Medical abortion provision from pharmacies by qualified providers can provide women with necessary induced-abortion care while not compromising longer-term pregnancy prevention.

Keywords: Abortion; Auxiliary nurse-midwives; Contraception; Medical abortion; Nepal; Pharmacy; Post-abortion contraception.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nepal
  • Nurse Midwives / statistics & numerical data
  • Pharmacies / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult