Menstrual regulation, the method of establishing non-pregnancy for a woman at risk of unintended pregnancy, has been a part of Bangladesh’s family planning program since 1979. It is allowed up to 10 –12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.
Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin is one of several staff members providing family planning, menstrual regulation, and post-procedure care services at Upzila Health Complex in Belkuchi, Bangladesh.
“Before this training we used to sometimes advise people on such services and provided menstrual regulation (MR) services but after the training I’ve have become and confident and efficient in providing MR services,” she says. “Earlier there could possibly have been mistake but now I can provide MR services efficiently and perfectly. I can now provide MR services in more organized manner.”
But while Yasmin, who has worked in family planning for 16 years, says that the recent training has increased her confidence in properly doing MR procedures, the health complex still lacks basic supplies.
“There were difficulties due to limited equipment,” she says. “We sometimes have to use personal equipment.”
But, she says, the presence of Kit 8 has made life easier.
“Prior to this kit, many clients did not complete the full course of medical as advices due to financial issues… during floods there are many hardships including financial difficulty,” she says. “However with this kit, most of the medicines are provided and clients are easily managing on their own.”
In times of humanitarian crises and disasters, the inability to access health care during floods can have serious repercussions on the local community.
As part of their Innovation Programme project, our South Asia office in collaboration with the University of Leicester and the Government of Bangladesh provides reproductive health kits to health centres located in areas most prone to seasonal flooding. Known as 'Kit 8' it contains three months’ worth of medicine and equipment for the management of miscarriage and complications of abortion and menstrual regulation in emergency situations, essential to minimize associated morbidity and mortality. Medical staff are trained to administer procedures and provide post-procedure care.
While abortion is considered illegal in Bangladesh, menstrual regulation, which has been a part of the country’s family planning program since 1979, is allowed up to 10–12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.
Photography © IPPF/Victoria Milko