Anneli Kero, (co-authors: Marianne Wulff and Ann Lalos), Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics
and Gynaecology, and Department of Social Work, Umea University, Umea, Sweden
Objective: To gain knowledge about women’s experiences, views and reactions regarding having a home abortion (medical abortion with the use of misoprostol at home).
Methods: One hundred women were interviewed one week post-abortion; this yielded both quantitative and qualitative data.
Results: The overwhelming majority of the women experienced wellbeing and were satisfied with their choice of abortion method. They appreciated the privacy and the comfort of being at home which also allowed the presence of a partner. The intake of mifepristone at the clinic was described by many in existential terms as an emotionally charged act, experienced by some as more difficult than expulsion at home. However, relief was the predominant emotional feeling during the expulsion day. Most women did not find it especially dramatic to see and handle the products of conception although some felt uncomfortable at the sight.
Conclusion: Given that they choose this method themselves and are well informed, women are able to handle the abortion process by themselves outside a clinical setting. The option to choose home abortion implies a radical change in empowerment for women. Also allowing them the possibility to take mifepristone at home would increase their privacy and personal integrity even more.
Objective: To gain knowledge about the male partner’s experiences of being present during induced home abortion.
Methods: Twenty-three couples, whose male partner had been present when the woman aborted at home, were interviewed one to two weeks post-abortion.
Results: All mengavesupport to their partner’s decision to have a home abortion, as this gave them the possibility of being near and of caring for her needs on theexpulsion day. In fact, all men took the opportunity to be present and all their partnersconfirmed that they had been supportive. Half the men had been anxious prior to the expulsion, but most considered that their experiences during the expulsion had been ‘easier than expected’ and their dominant feeling was one of relief.
Conclusions: Abortion is an important life event. When taking place at home, it increases the possibility for the couple to share the experience. Sharing an abortion may have a positive impact on those males who lack a sense of responsibility regarding reproductive issues, such as contraceptive use. This could facilitate society’s efforts to involve men as a target group in this field. Designing an abortion policy that caters for the needs of both partners is a challenge.