Document Type

Article

Department

Paediatrics and Child Health; Women and Child Health

Abstract

Background: Unintended pregnancies are a global public health concern and contribute significantly to adverse maternal and neonatal health, social and economic outcomes and increase the risks of maternal deaths and neonatal mortality. In countries like Pakistan where data for the unintended pregnancies is scarce, studies are required to estimate its accurate prevalence and predictors using more specific tools such as the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancies (LMUP).
Methods: We conducted a hospital based cross sectional survey in two tertiary care hospitals in Pakistan. We used a pre tested structured questionnaire to collect the data on socio-demographic characteristics, reproductive history, awareness and past experience with contraceptives and unintended pregnancies using six item the LMUP. We used Univariate and multivariate analysis to explore the association between unintended pregnancies and predictor variables and presented the association as adjusted odds ratios. We also evaluated the psychometric properties of the Urdu version of the LMUP. Results: Amongst 3010 pregnant women, 1150 (38.2%) pregnancies were reported as unintended. In the multivariate analysis age < 20 years (AOR 3.5 1.1-6.5), being illiterate (AOR 1.9 1.1-3.4), living in a rural setting (1.7 1.2-2.3), having a pregnancy interval of = < 12 months (AOR 1.7 1.4-2.2), having a parity of >2 (AOR 1.4 1.2-1.8), having no knowledge about contraceptive methods (AOR 3.0 1.7-5.4) and never use of contraceptive methods (AOR 2.3 1.4-5.1) remained significantly associated with unintended pregnancy. The Urdu version of the LMUP scale was found to be acceptable, valid and reliable with the Cronbach's alpha of 0.85.
Conclusions: This study explores a high prevalence of unintended pregnancies and important factors especially those related to family planning. Integrated national family program that provides contraceptive services especially the modern methods to women during pre-conception and post-partum would be beneficial in averting unintended pregnancies and their related adverse outcomes in Pakistan .

Publication

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

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