Attitude and level of knowledge related to contraception among female sex workers

Attitude and level of knowledge related to contraception among

female sex workers 

S. Ozalp, H.M. Tanir, A. Yildirim, O. T. Yalcin, B. Tekin, Z. Yildiz 

Eskisehir Osmangazi University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and

Gynecology, Eskisehir, Turkey 

Objective Main reproductive health risks of

female sex workers are unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

They should be followed and counselled periodically about these issues. This

cross-sectional study was aimed to determine the rates of contraceptive use,

pregnancy rates and STDs rate among these specific women population. 

Design and methods

The study included twenty-four female sex workers (study group) and 24

aged-matched women (control group) admitted to outpatient gynecology clinic. A

questionnaire, composed of 20 questions related to reproductive health, was

conducted. Demographic factors and fertility characteristics such as number of

parity, gravidity, induced or spontaneous abortion, number of living children

and duration of current contraceptive method use were assessed in both groups. 

Results There were no differences in mean age, number of gravidity, abortion

and current contraceptive method used between two groups. However, number of

deliveries (p<0.01) and number of living children (p=0.02) were higher in the control group. Unwanted pregnancies (p<0.01) and termination of pregnancy (p<0.01) were more frequent in the study group. The frequency of unwanted pregnancy was higher during no-contraceptive using period in the study group (p<0.01). Both groups did not differ with regard to their knowledge, degree of satisfaction of method used and source of information about contraception. In the study group, combined oral contraceptive use was higher (37%, p<0.01) while, coitus interruptus was more common in the control group (66%, p<0.01). History of STDs was more frequent in the study group (50%, p<0.001). 

Conclusions In Turkey, prostitution is legal and under the control of health

authorities. Female sex workers in Turkey are periodically examined in every

three months with regard to STDs and HIV testing. Given the results of the

present study, these women should be encouraged to use effective contraceptive

methods for the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and condoms to reduce STDs.

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