Pathways to post abortion care in Myanmar

Although induced abortion is illegal in Myanmar except to save the life of the woman, those with unintended pregnancy often resort to unsafe practices and unqualified practitioners for induced abortion procedures.

As a result, abortion-related causes are a major contributor to maternal mortality in Myanmar, comprising nearly 10 percent of maternal deaths (Aye and Nyunt 2010; UNFPA/Myanmar 2010).

Women undergoing unsafe induced procedures are also likely to present late to health care providers for management of complications (UNFPA/Myanmar 2010), resulting in higher costs of care to women and to the public health system. However, little is known about the pathways women take from realising they are pregnant to seeking care at public health facilities for abortion complications.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ipas recently initiated a program to improve PAC services in public hospitals through training and support to providers in three regions: Yangon, Mandalay and Magway.

To enhance these interventions, we need to understand women’s perspectives on accessing post-abortion care at public hospitals, both to identify barriers to care and to evaluate the quality of care from the woman’s perspective.

Specific Objectives

  1. To identify characteristics of women who seek post-abortion care;
  2. To understand the pathways women take from finding out they are pregnant to arriving in the public health system seeking post-abortion care;
  3. To identify the types and severity of the signs and symptoms that lead women to seek post-abortion care;
  4. To understand the barriers women face in accessing post-abortion care at public hospitals, including the cause of delay in seeking care; and
  5. To understand women’s perspectives on the quality of post-abortion care they are receiving at the public hospital.

The study design includes two components:

  • A cross-sectional survey of women accessing care for post-abortion complications at selected facilities in three regions (Mandalay, Yangon, and Magway).
  • A series of in-depth interviews with women from each region who indicate that they took medicines to try to terminate a pregnancy before coming to the study facility for post-abortion care.


2015 - Dec 2016



Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Elissa Kennedy

Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health; Co-Head Global Adolescent Health