Prevalence and determinants of unintended pregnancy: systematic review

Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Family Medicine


Background: Unplanned pregnancy is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in the world. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize the findings of various studies regarding prevalence and determinates of unintended pregnancy.
Data sources: A range of electronic databases was searched for studies conducted in developing countries and published between 1990 and 2015. English-language publications were searched using relevant keywords, and reference lists were hand searched.
Review methods: A systematic review was carried out for all the quantitative studies which met the inclusion criteria. The quality of selected studies was assessed using Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
Results: Twenty-two papers were included in the review. Average prevalence of unintended pregnancy was estimated to be 35% ranging from 13% to 82%. The predictors of unintended pregnancy were found to be, socio-demographic factors include women's age, women's education, parity, birth order and interval, previous pregnancy intention, age at the time of marriage, socioeconomic status, marital status, religion, caste, and ethnicity.
: Main correlates were found to be age, parity, educational and economic status. This means that undertaking outreach in poor countries might be helpful in fulfilling the needs of Family planning for these women. Furthermore, community-based distribution of family planning methods or counseling should be targeted to the illiterate older aged women of reproductive age with poor socioeconomic status.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Middle East Journal of Family Medicine