Author : A.H. Ajeel, Narjis
The Medical Journal of Basrah University,
Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 9-14
Background: The problem of unintended pregnancy exists in all societies, regardless of degree of development. Unintended pregnancy is associated with adverse health outcomes for both mother and child and it is a risk factor for poor health of both of them.
Objective: To assess the extent of the problem of unintended pregnancy in Basrah, and to identify the main socio-demographic and reproductive factors associated with its occurrence.
Methodology: The study was a cross sectional study involving 260 women who gave birth within the 6 months preceding the time of the study. The studied women were selected from 10 primary health care centers. Data were collected by direct interviewing of the women using a special questionnaire form constructed for the purpose of the study. The questionnaire included questions that covered socio-demographic and reproductive aspects of the participants, as well as details about their last pregnancy.
Results: Sixty seven (25.8%) of the participants reported that their last pregnancy ending in a live birth was unintended at the time of conception. This included 33(12.7%) unwanted preg¬nancies and 34(13.1%) mistimed pregnancies. The study showed that old, illiterate and unemployed women were more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than young, educated and employed women. The prevalence of unintended pregnancy increased with the increase in the number of previous pregnancies. The study also showed that women who planned their last pregnancy, were more likely to attend the antenatal care clinic than those who did not.
Conclusion: Unintended pregnancy is not a rare event in Basrah despite the fact that unintended pregnancies ended in abortion were not included in the present study.