Menstrual regulation practices in Bangladesh: An unrecognized form of contraception
Islam,M.Mazharul; Rob,Ubaidur; Chakroborty,Nitai
Asia-Pacific Population Journal 19(4): 75-99
Publication date: 2004
As part of the Government of Bangladesh's health and family planning effort, menstrual regulation (MR) has been declared an "interim method of establishing non-pregnancy" for a woman at risk of being pregnant to reduce female morbidity and mortality associated with indigenous abortion, which is legally restricted in Bangladesh. This policy regarding MR has profound implications for women's reproductive health in Bangladesh as there is an increasing demand for pregnancy termination despite a steady increase in the contraceptive use rate. Survey results indicate that currently married women have a moderately high knowledge of MR, but in most cases they failed to distinguish between MR and abortion. Most of the MR acceptors received MR services to terminate an unwanted pregnancy arising from a method failure or from the non-use of family planning methods. The results suggest that with the promotion of MR services, many abortions are performed under the mantle of MR in order to avoid legal controversy. Recent survey results show that about 5 per cent of the currently married women ever had MR and the number is increasing despite the greater use of family planning methods. This paper examines the characteristics of the MR acceptors and determinants and the reasons for MR practice in Bangladesh. Understanding the reasons for MR acceptance and its demographic impact will assist policy makers in taking appropriate strategies to reduce unsafe abortion, which, in turn, will help to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality.