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Adolescent Women with Unintended Pregnancy in Low- And Middle-Income Countries: Reasons for Discontinuation of Contraception
Authors: S Bellizzi, F Palestra, and G Pichierri
Source: Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Published online; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpag.2019.11.004
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Unintended pregnancy
Unmet need
Women's health
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: NOV 2019
Abstract: Study objective: To investigate the reasons for discontinuation of the last contraceptive method used among adolescent women with a current unintended pregnancy. Design: Demographic and Health, Cross Sectional, Surveys (DHS). Setting: 35 low- and middle-income countries. Participants: 2,173 girls aged 15-19 years with a current unintended pregnancy, selected by a multistage cluster random sampling method. Interventions: A questionnaire administered by trained interviewers, which included socio-demographic as well as individual maternal and contraceptive history was used to collect data. Main outcome measure(s): The prevalence of contraception utilization and the contribution of each reason for contraceptive discontinuation before the current unintended pregnancies. Results: Almost three fourth of adolescent women was not using any contraception prior to the current unintended pregnancy, and less than 1 in 100 was using a long-acting modern method. Among girls who last used a traditional method, 74.0% discontinued due to failure. Among girls who last used a long-acting modern method, 63.6% discontinued because of health concerns and side effects. Conclusion: This study highlights that around 80.0% of adolescent women with an unintended pregnancy in 35 low and middle-income countries were either non-users or using traditional methods. An additional 20.4% were using short-acting modern method. Long-acting methods would have prevented the overwhelming majority of unintended pregnancies, including the vast numbers from contraceptive failure. Keywords: Adolescent Health; Demographic Health Survey; Developing countries; Family planning; unwanted pregnancies.