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Access to SRHR Services in Dhaka: An adolescent girl’s path to education and hope

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Access to SRHR Services in Dhaka: An adolescent girl’s path to education and hope


The Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Dhaka project is being implemented in underserved urban areas of Dhaka where the community faces high rates of poverty, early marriage, and challenges accessing SRH services. Socio-cultural barriers contribute to difficulties for women and girls to advocate for themselves, particularly regarding sexual and reproductive health.

Sharmin*, an 18-year-old adolescent and student living with her family in an underserved neighbourhood in Dhaka faced an unintended pregnancy. Sharmin’s situation exemplifies the struggles many young women in the area face: early marriage, unmet need for contraceptives, and unintended pregnancy. Lack of awareness and social stigma surrounding family planning can lead to unsafe methods to terminate pregnancies. Fearing her husband's reaction and its impact on her studies, she sought a solution. Despite several unsuccessful attempts at a pharmacy, her mother took her to a clinic supported by the Improving SRHR in Dhaka project. This clinic, along with others supported by the project, provides menstrual regulation (MR) services (the local term for a procedure which safely interrupts pregnancy), including the use of medication such as mifepristone/misoprostol.

Inside GP

Supported by a caring healthcare provider and counsellor, Sharmin opted for MR and found hope. Sharmin expressed gratitude for facilitating her future and education, as she can now continue her studies. An emotional encounter with Sharmin and her mother at the clinic provided insight into the transformative impact of this service, as Sharmin, expressed:

"I am still studying now; you saved my life."

Sharmin’s experience accessing menstrual regulation to continue her education, highlights the broader community benefits of providing access to safe reproductive health services. The project supports women to meet their reproductive health needs by providing them with safe reproductive health options and enabling them to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

*Not her real name

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