An unwanted pregnancy is a pregnancy that is either unintended, such as the pregnancy occurred when no children or no more children were desired. Or the pregnancy is mistimed, such as the pregnancy occurred earlier than desired. The concept of unwanted pregnancy helps in understanding the fertility of populations and the unmet need for contraception, also known as birth control, and family planning. Most unintended pregnancies result from not using contraception or from not using it consistently or correctly.
In this article, I will be sharing with you 5 countries with the highest number of unwanted pregnancies in the world:
Women make up 51% of England’s population. Of these, more than three quarters at any one time want to either prevent or achieve pregnancy.
Currently, 45% of pregnancies and one third of births in England are unwanted or associated with feelings of ambivalence. Although pregnancies continuing to term mostly lead to positive outcomes, some unplanned pregnancies can have adverse health impacts for mother, baby and children into later in life.
Traditionally, preconception care has focused on women planning a pregnancy. However, as many pregnancies are unintended at the time of conception, the timing of addressing preconception risks poses a challenge. Additionally, many women of childbearing age do not seek preconception care for themselves until they are pregnant.
In France, 33% of pregnancies are unwanted. Of women at risk for unintended pregnancy, only 3% do not use contraception, and 20% use intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Although the rate of contraceptive use in France is high, more than one-third of pregnancies are unwanted.
Sweden has a high rate of unwanted pregnancy (UP) and the highest teen abortion and repeat abortion rate in Europe. One study from Sweden (2008-2010) showed that the prevalence of unwanted pregnancies was 23.2%. One study conducted in Uppsala (2012–2013) found that 12% of pregnancies were fairly or very unplanned.
Number of unwanted pregnancy in Russia are among the highest for developed countries. In Russia, the birthrate for 15–19-year-olds in 1990 was 55 per 1,000 girls. According to a study, current pregnancies were termed “desired and timely” by 58% of respondents, while 23% described them as “desired, but untimely”, and 19% said they were “undesired”.
Russians now engage in family planning with more confidence: the number of births is almost equal to the number of pregnancies.
5. United States
Currently, an astonishing 45 percent of the 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unwanted. Every year, millions of women, married and unmarried, young and not so young, are getting an outcome — pregnancy — that they didn’t plan on or desire.
The impact on women, their babies and society at large is enormous. Unwanted babies may receive delayed prenatal care, are more likely to be born prematurely and face greater likelihood of health challenges throughout life.
Beyond the obvious stress of an unplanned major life event, women facing an unwanted pregnancy are less likely to complete college and also face decreased economic opportunities, which can in turn affect the health and economic opportunities of their children.
The costs to society, in health-care dollars, economic supports and lost wages, are significant.