|Journal Article - Reproductive Health
|Unintended pregnancy: magnitude and correlates in six urban sites in Senegal
In Senegal, unintended pregnancy has become a growing concern in public health circles. It has often been described through the press as a sensational subject with emphasis on the multiple infanticide cases as a main consequence, especially among young unmarried girls. Less scientific evidence is known on this topic, as fertility issues are rarely discussed within couples. In a context where urbanization is strong, economic insecurity is persistent and the population is globalizing, it is important to assess the magnitude of unintended pregnancy among urban women and to identify its main determinants.
Data were collected in 2011 from a representative sample of 9614 women aged 15–49 years in six urban sites in Senegal. For this analysis, we include 5769 women who have ever been pregnant or were pregnant at the time of the survey. These women were asked if their last pregnancy in the last two years was ‘wanted ’then’, ‘wanted later’ or ‘not wanted’. Pregnancy was considered as unintended if the woman responded ‘wanted later’ or ‘not wanted’. Descriptive analyses were performed to measure the magnitude of unintended pregnancies, while multinomial logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with the occurrence of unintended pregnancy. The analyses were performed using Stata version 12. All results were weighted.
The results show that 14.3% of ever pregnant women reported having a recent unintended pregnancy. The study demonstrates important distinctions between women whose last pregnancy was intended and those whose last pregnancy was unintended. Indeed, this last group is more likely to be poor, from a young age (< 25 years) and multiparous. In addition, it appears that low participation of married women in decision-making within the couple (management of financial resources) and the lack of discussion on family planning issues are associated with greater experience of unintended pregnancy.
This study suggests a need to implement more targeted programs that guarantee access to family planning for all women in need. In urban areas that are characterized by economic insecurity, as in Senegal, it is important to consider strategies for promoting communication within couples on fertility issues.