Attendance at post-abortion follow-up visits is poor, but little is known about factors affecting it.
To assess the factors associated with non-compliance with post-abortion services and to evaluate differences in rates of attendance and intrauterine device (IUD) insertion according to the type of service provision.
605 women undergoing a first trimester medical termination of pregnancy (MTOP) and planning to use intrauterine contraception were randomised into two groups. Women in the intervention group (n=306) were booked to have IUD insertion 1–4 weeks after the MTOP at the hospital providing the abortion, while women in the control group (n=299) were advised to contact their primary healthcare (PHC) centre for follow-up and IUD insertion.
In the intervention group, 21 (6.9%) women failed to attend the follow-up visit, whereas in the control group 67 (22.4%) women did not contact the PHC to schedule a follow-up (p<0.001). In both groups, non-attendance was associated with history of previous pregnancy and abortion. Not having an IUD inserted within 3 months was significantly more common in the control group (73.6% (n=220)) than in the intervention group (9.2% (n=28), p<0.001). In the intervention group, predictive factors for not having an IUD inserted were anxiety, history of pregnancy and abortion. However, we identified no significant predictive factors in the control group.
Factors predicting low compliance with post-MTOP follow-up are few. Comprehensive provision of abortion care and post-abortion services seems beneficial for minimising the loss to follow-up and delay in initiation of effective contraception.