Problems with contraception play big part in unplanned pregnancies, USA.
Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.
About 52% of unplanned pregnancies occur in women not using
contraception, 43% in women using contraception inconsistently or
incorrectly and 5% in women whose contraceptive method was used
correctly but failed. A sample of 1,978 adult women at risk of
unintended pregnancy were surveyed by telephone in 2004 about
contraceptive use in the previous year. 23% of women were exposed to
high pregnancy risk because of gaps in contraceptive method with one
third of these being consistent non-users. Many women stopped and
started different methods during the year. Factors associated with
contraceptive non-use or a gap included ambivalence about avoiding
pregnancy, a change in women's lives, social disadvantage, problems
with access to services, infrequent intercourse, dissatisfaction with a
method and believing that contraceptive providers are not available to
answer questions. 805 publicly-funded family planning clinics and 451
private obstetricians and gynaecologists and family doctors were also
surveyed. Clinics were best at providing counselling about side effects and teaching consistency, while family doctors were worst. The authors
recommend improved counselling on method choice and pregnancy risk,
especially when women have periods of infrequent sexual activity or are
experiencing method-related problems. (1)
(1.) Hopkins Tanne J. Problems with contraception play big part in
unplanned pregnancies, study says. BMJ 2008;336:1095.