Pregnancy Outcomes among Women with an Unintended Pregnancy: Findings from a Prospective Registry in Rural Pakistan

Sumera Aziz Ali, Shiyam Sunder Tikmani, Margo S. Harrison, Sarah Saleem, Robert L. Goldenberg, Elizabeth M. McClure, Omrana Pasha

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Background: Unintended pregnancies are an important public health issue in both developed and developing countries. An unintended pregnancy may affect maternal health seeking behavior during the antenatal and postpartum periods, which can adversely affect perinatal outcomes. Aim: The specific aim of our study was to measure antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum pregnancy outcomes among women with unintended pregnancies in a rural Pakistani population.Methods: Using a prospective maternal and newborn health registry in Thatta Pakistan, we evaluated temporal associations between unintended pregnancy and several dimensions of health seeking behavior including: antenatal care, preference for private versus government facility for antenatal care, and use of tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccine during the current pregnancy. We performed logistic regressions to analyze the data.Results: In a multivariable model, we found that women who claimed their pregnancies as unintended were 1.27 times more likely to not utilize any facility for antenatal care as compared to women with intended pregnancies [OR = 1.27; 95% CI (1.11 - 1.46)]. Likewise, women with unintended pregnancies were 1.23 times more likely to not receive tetanus toxoid vaccine during the antenatal period [OR = 1.23; 95% CI (1.06 - 1.41)] and were 1.20 times more likely to utilize a government facility compared to private facilities for the antenatal care as compared to their counterparts with intended pregnancies [OR = 1.20; 95% CI (1.04 - 1.38)].Conclusions: Women with unintended pregnancies were less likely to seek antenatal care and preferred government facilities when they did enroll; these facilities are known for providing subsidized but suboptimal care. Our results show that women who decide to carry unintended pregnancies should be considered a high-risk group that requires focused counseling on adherence to antenatal care and delivery planning. Prevention of unintended and unplanned pregnancies in rural areas through provision of family planning services should be encouraged.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalCommunity Health Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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