A cross-sectional study to assess prevalence and determinants of unplanned pregnancy among eligible couples of rural field practice area: RDGMC, Ujjain

Shikha Sharma


Background: Unplanned pregnancy have emerged as one of key public health indicator affecting women, their families and societies at large. Globally, an estimated 40% pregnancies in 2012 were unplanned jeopardising health of millions of women and children. Unplanned pregnancies are also associated with increased risk of low birth weight and high infant mortality. Need of the study was to obtain information which can lead to improvement in use of available products and resources by addressing social determinants of reproductive health affecting pregnancy intensions.

Methods: Cross- sectional study was conducted in DSS (Demographic Surveillance Site), RD Gardi Medical College, Ujjain. Study included all consenting eligible couples excluding couples not available at time of interview and sterilized couples. “The London Measures of Unplanned Pregnancy” questionnaire (tested and validated for Indian settings) was used to assess pregnancy outcomes.

Results: According to scores 8% pregnancy came out as unplanned, 79% planned and 13% ambivalent. Occurrence of unplanned pregnancy was significantly associated with age (χ2=14.216, p=0.027), socio-economic status (χ2=19.757, p=0.003) and housing (χ2=22.337, p=0.000) conditions of study participants. But when the above factors were further analysed using regression analysis, none was significantly associated.

Conclusions: Prevalence of unplanned pregnancy came out to be 8%. Further, none of the studied social determinants came out to be significantly associated with the occurrence of unplanned pregnancy. More studies with a qualitative nature will be needed to know the reasons for unplanned pregnancy.


Unplanned pregnancy, Eligible couples

Full Text:



Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2008. -- 6th ed. World Health Organization; Available at: reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/.../en/. Accessed on 3 January 2019.

Gipson J, Koenig M, Hindin M. The Effects of Unintended Pregnancy on Infant, Child, and Parental Health: A Review of the Literature. Studies in Family Planning. 2008;39(1):18-38.

World contraceptive use report- fertility and family planning section; UN department of economic and social affairs, population division; 2015.

Ghabbour S. United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in the International Conference Centre, Cairo, Egypt, during 5–13 September 1994. Envir Conserv. 1994;21(03):283.

Ghike S, Joshi S, Bhalerao A, Kawthalkar A. Awareness and Contraception Practices among Women-An Indian Rural Experience. JSAFOG. 2010: 19-21.

Dixit P, Ram F, Dwivedi L. Determinants of unwanted pregnancies in India using matched case-control designs. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2012;12(1):84.

Park K. Demography and Family planning. 23rd ed. Jabalpur: Banarasidas Bhanot Publishers. Park's textbook of preventive and social medicine; 2014;478:454-7.

Census of India, 2011a. Provisional Population Totals, Paper 1 of 2011 India, Series-1, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, New Delhi.

Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health; Rio De Janerio; 2011: 1-7. 19-21st October; World conference on social determinants of health; Brazil.

New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2002. Government of India. National Health Policy 2002.

Konar H, Duttas DC. Textbook of Obestetrics; 7th edition; New Delhi; Jaypee publications; 2013: 532-533.

Development and research in human reproduction (HRP) highlights - human reproductive programme; deptt. Of reproductive health and research (RHR) including the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/ World Bank; 2014.

Report on unintended pregnancies; Health of Washington State (Washington state department of health); updated on January 2014.

Unintended pregnancy prevention; reproductive health; CDC division of reproductive health, last updated February 2013.

Unplanned pregnancy common worldwide: neither legal status of abortion nor health risks deters women from terminating pregnancies; The Alan Guttmacher Institute; news release; 2015.

Kott A. Rates of unintended pregnancy remains high in developing regions; international perspectives on sexual and reproductive health; 2008;37(1):46-7.

Singh S, Sedgh G, Hussain R. Unintended Pregnancy: Worldwide Levels, Trends, and Outcomes. Studies in Family Planning. 2010;41(4):241-50.

Metha N. Highest number of unwanted pregnancies in India: WHO; 2015. Available at: https://www. Accessed on 27 October 2015.

Ali S, Ali S. Unmet need for contraception and unintended pregnancies among women of reproductive age group: A situation analysis. El Med J. 2014;2(3):259.

Santelli J, Rochat R, Hatfield-Timajchy K, Gilbert B, Curtis K, Cabral R et al. The Measurement and Meaning of Unintended Pregnancy. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2003;35(2):94-101.