Prevalence and determinants of unintended pregnancy among women in south-western Nigeria

  • MA Lamina
Keywords: Unintended pregnancy, induced abortion, determinants, contraception, urban area, rural area, Nigeria


Objective: To study the prevalence of unwanted pregnancy in urban and rural settlements in Southwestern Nigeria.
Design: A prospective cross-sectional study of women within reproductive age.
Setting: Community-based study of unwanted pregnancy was conducted in 2012.
Participants: They were women of reproductive age who had experienced unintended and/or unwanted pregnancies and they were randomly selected from rural and urban areas of Ogun state in Nigeria.
Intervention: A semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection.
Main outcome measure: The prevalence of unintended/ unwanted pregnancy, associated factors including the views, perception and attitudes of community members in both urban and rural settlements and the pattern of help-seeking behavior on the problem.
Results: The age range of respondents was 15-48 years (mean age 31.2± 6.7 years). One thousand, two hundred and twenty-one (51.6%) of the respondents were married. The percentage of illiterate respondents was 3.5% in urban area and 4.1% in rural area. There was a statistically significant association between level of education and use of a method to avoid or delay pregnancy (p <0.001). The prevalence of unintended pregnancy was 35.9% while that of induced abortion was 33.5%. Quality of service was the most important factor in the choice of a place for pregnancy termination in urban and rural areas. Economic reasons were often cited as reasons women make use of abortion services.
Conclusion: Unwanted pregnancy constitutes a problem, even at the community level. The high contraceptive awareness should be translated to an increased use so as to bridge the large gap of unmet need.

Keywords: Unintended pregnancy; induced abortion; determinants; contraception; urban area; rural area; Nigeria


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0016-9560