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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.
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Title Annotation:ROUND UP: Research
Publication:Reproductive Health Matters
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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