Unwanted pregnancy: who are the ambivalent women?
Lauriane Pichonnaz, Fabienne Coquillat, Saira-Christine Renteria Centre for Sexual Health and Planned Parenthood, Unit for Psychosocial Gynaecology and Obstetrics, ObGyn Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland - email@example.com
Introduction: Certain studies show that the women who are the most at risk for postabortion problems are those who were ambivalent at the beginning of the pregnancy (Adler, N.E., and al., 1990). Other studies show that influences/pressures from other people (Romans-Clarkson, S.E., 1989), a lack of a support from the partner, a psychiatric history or belonging to a cultural group that is anti-abortion (RCOG, 2000) also increase the risk of postabortion distress. These studies clearly demonstrate the importance of studying ambivalence towards pregnancy. Aim: The purpose of the study is to have a better understanding of women ambivalent towards their pregnancy. The study will do so by exploring the reasons for becoming pregnant, the possible existence of conflict between couples, external pressure and violence, as well as the link to their final decision to go on with the pregnancy or not. Material and methods: From May 2012 to May 2013, the six sexual health counsellors of the Centre for Sexual Health of the CHUV gathered data about every ambivalent woman consulting for counselling. The data of a total of 88 subjects was collected. Statistical analyses were made, completed by qualitative data. Results: 64.8% of the women had been using a contraceptive method. We can thus suppose that they intended not to get pregnant. Nevertheless more than a quarter of them used a contraceptive method in an inconsistent way. Conflicts between couples were high (47.7%). Concerning external pressure, half of the women were under pressure (53.4%), predominantly from the spouse (44.3%). Actual violence was present in 10.2% of the situations and mostly exercised by the male partner (6.8%). Conclusions: Half of the women decided to give birth and half to have an abortion. This demonstrates the importance of the health professionals' support during the decision-making process.