Focus on Abortion: Article

Contraceptive Receipt Among First-Trimester Abortion Clients and Postpartum Women in Urban Mexico

Blair G. Darney, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Evelyn Fuentes-Rivera, Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica Biani Saavedra-Avendaño, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia en Economia Patricio Sanhueza-Smith, Mexico City Ministry of Health Raffaela Schiavon, independent consultant

First published online:

| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1363/46e0720
Abstract / Summary

In Mexico, first-trimester abortion is legal in Mexico City and is available in the public and private sectors. Understanding subsequent contraceptive uptake and method mix among first-trimester abortion clients relative to that of women who deliver a live birth at a health facility could help identify where improvements in care following an obstetric event can be made across the health system.


This article uses a retrospective cohort study to compare uptake of contraception prior to discharge between abortion clients in Mexico City’s public abortion program and postpartum women from urban settings. The two data sources were clinical records of 45,233 abortion clients in Mexico City and information from a population-based survey of 1,289 urban women on their immediate postpartum contraceptive adoption. The primary outcome investigated was receipt of any reversible modern contraceptive method; secondary outcomes were level of method effectiveness and method type. Logistic regression and calculated multivariable probabilities were used to control for the effects of sociodemographic factors across the two data sources.


The adjusted probability of uptake of any reversible modern method of contraception was higher among abortion clients than among postpartum women (67% vs. 48%). However, among all women who had received a contraceptive method, abortion clients had a lower adjusted probability of having received a long-acting reversible contraceptive than did postpartum women (49% vs. 82%) and a higher probability of having received a moderately effective method (38% vs. 13%). The adjusted probability of implant uptake was higher among abortion clients than among postpartum women (9% vs. 3%), while the adjusted probability of IUD uptake was lower (38% vs. 78%).


Women receiving abortions in Mexico City’s public abortion program were more likely than urban postpartum women to receive a reversible modern contraceptive method before leaving the facility. Women should be offered the full range of contraceptive methods after any obstetric event, to help them prevent unintended pregnancy and avoid short interpregnancy intervals.

Available in Spanish (download pdf here)

Author's Affiliations

Blair G. Darney is assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA, and affiliate investigator with the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Center for Population Health Research (CISP), Cuernavaca, Mexico. Evelyn Fuentes-Rivera is research assistant, CISP. Biani Saavedra-Avendaño is a doctoral student, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia en Economia, Mexico City. At the time of the study, Patricio Sanhueza-Smith was Director of the Sexual and Reproductive Program, Mexico City Ministry of Health, Mexico City. Raffaela Schiavon is an independent consultant, Mexico City and Italy.


The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Guttmacher Institute.