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Little sex knowledge means more abortions
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-09 06:11

SHANGHAI: More than half of the women in Shanghai who had abortions last year did not use any reliable form of contraception.

So says a recent study of 800 women from the city.

At least 60 per cent of the 200,000-plus Shanghai women who had at least one abortion last year did not use contraception, said Dr Yan Fengting, an expert on reproductive health.

The figure was higher among unmarried women.

Dr Yan said: "Chinese women never really have the chance to learn about contraception."

"We do have some lessons on physiology in high school, but they never really cover this sensitive topic."

Fifty-four per cent of married women who had an abortion did not use effective contraception and the figure soared to 80 per cent among unmarried women, according to the study.

Yan said many women have their own methods of contraception by counting the days when they think they are "safe," which is not reliable.

More than 44 per cent of them had at least two abortions.

"We have even seen women become pregnant 10 days after an abortion," said the doctor.

In Shanghai, 66 in every 1,000 women have had an abortion. The city has about 4.2 million women aged between 19 and 45, the childbearing age.

Abortions can damage women both psychologically and physically.

"Surgery can result in lots of other gynaecological illnesses. What's more, it can bring huge mental suffering," said Yan.

"About 40 per cent of women fall into a deep depression after an abortion."

Yan said an association named Shanghai Family Planning and Reproductive Health has been visiting some universities since last year to give lectures on contraception.

(China Daily 06/09/2005 page3)

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