Unintended Pregnancy and Use of Emergency Contraception Among a Large Cohort of Women Attending for Antenatal Care or Abortion in Scotland
Lancet 2006 November 18-24; 368(9549): 1782-1787
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
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