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Unintended pregnancy: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unintended pregnancies include unwanted pregnancies as well as those that are mistimed. Worldwide, 38% of pregnancies are unintended (some 80 million unintended pregnancies each year).[1] Unintended pregnancies result in about 42 million induced abortions per year, and 34 million unintended births.[1]

Providing modern contraceptives to the 201 million women at risk of unintended pregnancy in developing countries who do not have access to contraception would cost an estimated US$3.9 billion per year.[2] This expenditure would prevent an estimated 52 million unintended pregnancies annually, preventing 1.5 million maternal and child deaths annually, and reduce induced abortions by 64%.[2] Reduced illness related pregnancy would preserve 27 million healthy life years, at a cost of $144 per year of healthy life.[2]



A large proportion of abortions are due to unwanted or mistimed pregnancy.[3]

Maternal deaths

Over the six years between 1995 and 2000 there were an estimated 338 million pregnancies that were unintended and unwanted worldwide (28% of the total 1.2 billion pregnancies during that period).[4] These unwanted pregnancies resulting in nearly 700,000 maternal deaths (approximately one-fifth of maternal deaths during that period).[4] More than one-third of the deaths were from problems associated with pregnancy or childbirth, but the majority (64%) were from complications from unsafe or unsanitary abortion.[4] Most of the deaths occurred in less developed parts of the world, where family planning and reproductive health services were less available.

By country/region


In France, 33% of pregnancies are unintended. Of women at risk for unintended pregnancy, only 3% do not use contraception, and 20% use Intrauterine devices or (IUDs).[5]

United States of America

The United States rate of unintended pregnancies is higher than the world average, and much higher than that in other industrialized nations.[6] Almost half (49%) of U.S. pregnancies are unintended, more than 3 million unintended pregnancies per year.[7] Unintended pregnancies result in about 1.3 million abortions/year.[1] 44% of unintended pregnancies resulted in births, and 42% resulted abortion and the rest in miscarriage.[6] The direct medical costs of unintended pregnancies was $5 billion in 2002.[8] It is estimated that more than half of US women have had an unintended pregnancy by age 45.[9]

Of the 800,000 teen pregnancies per year,[10] over 80% were unintended in 2001.[1] One-third of teen pregnancies result in abortion.[10] In 2002, about 9% of women at risk for unintended pregnancy were teenagers,[5] but about 20% of the unintended pregnancies in the United States are to teenagers.[11] A somewhat larger proportion of unintended births are reported as mistimed, rather than unwanted, for teens compared to women in general (79% mistimed for teens vs. 69% among all women in 1998).[12]

In the US it is estimated that 52% of unintended pregnancies result from couples not using contraception in the month the woman got pregnant, and 43% result from inconsistent or incorrect contraceptive use; only 5% result from contraceptive failure, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute.[1] Contraceptive use saved an estimated $19 billion in direct medical costs from unintended pregnancies in 2002.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e J. Joseph Speidel, Cynthia C. Harper, and Wayne C. Shields (September 2008). "The Potential of Long-acting Reversible Contraception to Decrease Unintended Pregnancy". Contraception.  
  2. ^ a b c Susheela Singh, Jacqueline E. Darroch, Michael Vlassoff, Jennifer Nadeau (2003) Adding it Up: The Benefits of Investing In Sexual and Reproductive Health Care . The Alan Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA. (Report).
  3. ^ Bankole et al., "Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortions: Evidence from 27 Countries", International Family Planning Perspectives (1998). Also see Lawrence B. Finer, Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh, and Ann M. Moore, "Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives", Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 37(3):110-118 (September 2005).
  4. ^ a b c Promises to Keep: The Toll of Unintended Pregnancies on Women's Lives in the Developing World. Retrieved 2009-01-22.  
  5. ^ a b "Reducing unintended pregnancy in the United States". Contraception. January 2008.  
  6. ^ a b "Emergency Contraception: Unintended Pregnancy in the United States". Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  7. ^ James Trussell, Anjana Lalla, Quan Doan, Eileen Reyes, Lionel Pinto, Joseph Gricar (2009). "Cost effectiveness of contraceptives in the United States". Contraception 79 (1): 5–14. PMID 19041435.  
  8. ^ a b Trussell J (March 2007). "The cost of unintended pregnancy in the United States". Contraception 75 (3): 168–70. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2006.11.009. PMID 17303484.  
  9. ^ Rameet Singh, Jennifer Frost, Beth Jordan, and Elisa Wells (January 2009). "Beyond A Prescription: Strategies for Improving Contraceptive Care". Contraception.  
  10. ^ a b Dragoman M, Davis A (June 2008). "Abortion care for adolescents". Clin Obstet Gynecol 51 (2): 281–9. doi:10.1097/GRF.0b013e31816d72ee. PMID 18463459.  
  11. ^ "Teenage pregnancy. Fact sheet". SIECUS Rep 26 (3): 21–2. 1998. PMID 12293248.  
  12. ^ Trussell J, Koenig J, Stewart F, Darroch JE (1997). "Medical care cost savings from adolescent contraceptive use". Fam Plann Perspect 29 (6): 248–55, 295. PMID 9429869.  

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