Background: Induced and unhealthy abortions exist worldwide, especially in developing countries. Awareness of the prevalence of abortion in the community can be an indirect measure of maternal health status. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of induced (forensic medicine referrals and obstetric indications) and spontaneous abortions based on demographic characteristics in 2018.
Methods: This epidemiologic-cross-sectional study was conducted in the hospitals of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in 2018. Out of 5848 pregnant women, 437 cases of abortion were diagnosed within 3 months, making up the sample size. Data were collected using a researcher-made demographic questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics (mean, percentage, and so forth).
Results: The overall prevalence of abortion in this study was 7.46%. The highest prevalence was observed in induced abortion with other causes (4.17%), followed by induced abortion with a forensic medicine letter (1.5%), and spontaneous abortion (1.79%), respectively. The highest frequency of induced abortion was found in the age group 30-34 (34.3%) and in housewives (76.2%). The highest frequency of education was high school belonging to mothers with spontaneous abortion (53.3%). There was a statistically significant difference among the variables of age, mother’s education, age, spouse’s occupation, and type of abortion (P≤0.05).
Conclusions: The prevalence of abortion was 7.46%, two thirds of which were abortion induced by other causes (55.8%). In addition to group education, health educators should plan effective methods of face-to-face and individual counseling to change mothers’ attitudes and inform them of the consequences of abortion.