Journal of South Asian Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1 ( January-February, 2024 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Occurrence and Determinants of Psychological Distress among Women Undergoing Abortion/Medical Termination of Pregnancy

Madhva Prasad, Sreeparna Roy, MV Vishnu, Somika Kaul, Bhubaneswari Dalei

Keywords : Abortion, Holistic care, Psychological distress, Postabortal care

Citation Information : Prasad M, Roy S, Vishnu M, Kaul S, Dalei B. Occurrence and Determinants of Psychological Distress among Women Undergoing Abortion/Medical Termination of Pregnancy. J South Asian Feder Obs Gynae 2024; 16 (1):20-24.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10006-2312

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 10-01-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Background: Early pregnancy loss, either spontaneous or induced, causes physical morbidity that is usually short-lived. However, the psychological impact of abortion has not be studied adequately. Objectives: To assess the Goldberg Health Questionnaire-12 among women undergoing treatment for abortion-related issues. To describe the relationship between demographic, social, obstetric and medical factors on postabortion stress levels. Materials and methods: After IEC clearance, a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted on patients seeking abortion-related care. Those with prior psychiatric illnesses and those undergoing MTP for failure of contraception were excluded. The GHQ-12 was administered. Demographic, obstetric and medical factors were noted. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the association between GHQ scores and the variables. Results: About 106 participants with average age of 25.7 years, 86% Hindus, and 83% employed were studied. About 63.2% were multigravidae, 67.9% were in the first trimester, and 63.2% were spontaneous abortions. About 42.4% were medically managed. About 89% (94 patients) were found to have typical distress and 11% (12 patients) were found to have more-than-usual distress, suggesting a high prevalence of psychological distress. The presence of prior living issue (80% vs 35%, p-value = 0.013), presence of prior abortion (66% vs 21%, p-value = 0.002), presence of medical comorbidity (41.6% vs 15%, p-value = 0.038), and desire for future progeny (83% vs 13%, p-value < 0.0001) were associated with higher stress. Conclusion: Women undergoing abortion/MTP have psychological stress. Some patient factors like prior living issue, prior abortion, medical comorbidity, and desire for future progeny appear to influence higher stress levels.

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