Termination of pregnancy among teenagers - why more surgical terminations?


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Termination of pregnancy among teenagers - why more surgical terminations?
Title of the conference
Abstracts from the 2012 FIAPAC Congress "Unwanted pregnancy - a fact of life"
Dufey-Liengme C., Coquillat F., Demierre M., Renteria S-C
Oct 19-20, 2012; Edinburgh, UK
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Issued date
Bjog-an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Introduction: In 2012, a study by K. Chatziioannidou and S-C. Renteria showed that teenagers chose to undergo a surgical termination of pregnancy (TOP) more often than a medical TOP (mifepristone followed by misoprostol) when they decided to terminate a pregnancy. It also showed that the teenagers' choice for a medical versus surgical method is inversely proportional to the adults' choice although the efficiency of the medical method showed even better results for teenagers than for adults. According to the hypothesis made, the reasons for this choice might be influenced by the following facts: (i) the belated call to make an appointment, the medical procedure not being available after 9 weeks of gestation; (ii) the imperative request for confidentiality; (iii) the beliefs and subjective appreciation of the medical staff. Objectives: The aim of this retrospective and qualitative study is to analyse the reasons why, in case of a TOP, teenagers chose the surgical method more often than their adult counterparts.
Material: (i) All teenagers who were admitted for an abortive procedure during 2011 in the in- or outpatient ward. (ii) The professional team (midwives and sexual and reproductive counsellors) in charge in the case of a TOP request.
Methods: The information about the patient's history and the biopsycho- social data was retrieved from the patient files filled out by midwives and sexual and reproductive health counsellors during the first appointment for a TOP request or during its process. The professionals' appreciation was evaluated by means of a semi-structured questionnaire.
Results: Concerning the choice of the method for a pregnancy termination, the results of our research show that: (i) Out of 47 teenagers, 27 chose the surgical method and 17 the medical method. (ii) Three had a second trimester abortion (which includes use of the medical method). (iii) Fifteen teenagers out of the 27 who chose a surgical method consulted between the 9th and 14th weeks of amenorrhoea and therefore did not have any other choice. The reasons for their 'late arrival' will be explained in detail. The 12 teenagers who arrived before the 8th week of amenorrhoea and chose to undertake abortion by suction & curettage under general anaesthesia did it for the following reasons: (i) Four were afraid of bleeding and pain. (ii) Five thought that the organisation of the surgical procedure was easier. (iii) Two did not trust the abortion pill. (iv) One was taken to her mother's gynaecologist where she had a D&C. Confidentiality was requested nine times out of 27 when choosing the surgical method, and six times out of 17 when choosing the medical method. Therefore, although confidentiality concerns a third of the teenagers' pregnancy termination requests, it does not seem to be a significant element for the choice of the method. As for the subjective appreciation of the professionals, the first results of the discussions seem to show that teenagers were reluctant or resistant towards the medical method.
Conclusion: This study shows that the reasons why teenagers still prefer the use of the surgical over the medical method compared to adults, seem to include the late request for an appointment, fear of pain and bleeding and organisational issues. Confidentiality does not seem to greatly influence the teenagers' choice. Nonetheless, medical professionals seem to favour the suction curettage procedure performed under anesthesia because they associate young age with vulnerability and psychological frailty and consequently diminished ability to cope with pain and emotional distress during the medical procedures.
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19/12/2012 14:53
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20/08/2019 17:21
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