A study in Ghana has investigated the prevalence of unintended pregnancy and the factors that can predict it. The paper, by Samuel Nyarko from the University of Texas at San Antonio in the United States and published in the Journal of Pregnancy, found that 40% of pregnancies in Ghana were reported to be either unwanted or mistimed, which is in line with global estimates.
Unintended pregnancy can have significant negative implications for the mother’s health before, during, and after birth, as well as for that of the child. It is therefore seen as a major challenge in many developing countries, including Ghana.
The study addressed the need for nationally representative information on its prevalence and predictors in Ghana. It used logistic regression models to analyze data extracted from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey.
Significant predictors of unintended pregnancy were identified as the woman’s age, level of education, marital status, parity (the number of times a woman has given birth) and region of residence. In addition, unmet need for contraception was shown to be a significant predictor of unintended pregnancy independent of the other background characteristics. From these results, the author concludes that Ghanaian authorities should focus particularly on improving access to contraceptive methods and family planning information in order to reduce rates of unintended pregnancy.
This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration by David Jury.