Induced abortion is an occupational hazard for FSWs. This study aimed to examine the prevalence and factors associated with induced abortion among FSWs in Iran.

One thousand three hundred thirty-seven FSWs aged ≥18 years who reported selling sex to more than one male client in the past 12 months were recruited in 13 major cities in Iran between January and August 2015. Bivariable and multivariable modified Poisson regression models were constructed to examine the correlates of induced abortion. APRs with 95% CIs were reported.

Lifetime induced abortion was reported by 621 of 1335 participants. Older age, having ever been married (APR 1.58; 95% CI 1.05, 2.39), has ever worked in a brothel (APR 1.19; 95% CI 1.02, 1.38) and a lifetime history of being raped (APR 1.19; 95% CI 1.03, 1.38) were significantly associated with lifetime induced abortion.

The study concluded that the high prevalence of induced abortion among FSWs in Iran is concerning. Evidence-informed programs targeting FSWs in Iran would improve their knowledge and encourage contraceptive use and promote pregnancy prevention and post-abortion care.