Document Detail

Unintended pregnancy and use of emergency contraception among a large cohort of women attending for antenatal care or abortion in Scotland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17113427     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Unintended pregnancy is common. Although many unintended pregnancies end in induced abortion, up to a third of those proceeding to birth might be unplanned. Some of these pregnancies could be prevented by emergency contraception. We have sought to establish how many pregnancies ending in either childbirth or abortion are unintended, and what proportion of women use emergency contraception to try to prevent pregnancy. METHODS: 2908 women who attended an Edinburgh hospital for antenatal care and 907 attending for abortion fully completed a self-administered questionnaire including a validated measure of pregnancy intention and questions about emergency contraceptive use. FINDINGS: 814 (89.7%) of 907 pregnancies among women requesting abortion were unintended compared with only 250 (8.6%) among 2908 women who planned to continue pregnancy. However, only 1909 (65.6%) of continuing pregnancies were intended. The rest of the women were ambivalent about pregnancy intention. In women who continued with their pregnancies intendedness was related to age, with unintended pregnancy most probable in young women (p<0.0001). Emergency contraception was used by 113 (11.8%) of women who requested abortion but only 40 (1%) of those planning to continue pregnancy. In those whose pregnancy was continuing, the proportions reporting use of emergency contraception were higher in young women than in older women and in those who reported that their pregnancies were unintended than in those who meant to become pregnant (both p<0.0001). INTERPRETATION: Unintended pregnancy is common, even among women planning to continue pregnancy. However, EC use is low even among women with no intention of conceiving, and is thus unlikely to reduce unintended pregnancy rates. Rather, we need to find ways to improve the use of regular contraception.
Fatim Lakha; Anna Glasier
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lancet     Volume:  368     ISSN:  1474-547X     ISO Abbreviation:  Lancet     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-20     Completed Date:  2006-11-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985213R     Medline TA:  Lancet     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1782-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
University of Edinburgh School of Clinical Science and Community Health, Edinburgh, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Abortion Applicants / psychology*,  statistics & numerical data
Age Distribution
Cohort Studies
Contraceptives, Postcoital*
Middle Aged
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Contraceptives, Postcoital
Comment In:
Lancet. 2006 Nov 18;368(9549):1747-8   [PMID:  17113404 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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