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1.  Psychosocial Correlates of Adolescent Males’ Pregnancy Intention 
Pediatrics  2005;116(3):e414-e419.
To identify psychosocial differences between sexually experienced male adolescents who indicate intentions to get someone pregnant and those who do not.
Cross-sectional study of 101 sexually experienced adolescent males recruited from an STD clinic in northern California. Student’s t-tests and regressions examined psychosocial differences between males who reported any intention versus no intention to get someone pregnant in the next six months. ANOVAs examined differences among different combinations of pregnancy plans/likelihood.
Adolescents’ reports of their plans for getting someone pregnant differed from their assessments of the likelihood that they would do so (χ2 = 24.33, df = 1, p < .0001). Attitudes toward pregnancy and participants’ mothers’ educational attainment differentiated those with clear pregnancy intentions (Planning, and Likely) from those with clear intentions to avoid pregnancy (Not Planning & Not Likely)
To reduce the rates of adolescent childbearing, males’ pregnancy intentions must be assessed and asked about in multiple ways.
PMCID: PMC1351209  PMID: 16140687
Adolescent Males; Pregnancy Intentions; Psychosocial Variables
2.  Pregnancy Intentions and Teenage Pregnancy Among Latinas: A Mediation Analysis 
The extent to which pregnancy intentions mediate the relationship between individual, familial and cultural characteristics and adolescent pregnancy is not well understood. The role of intentions may be particularly important among Latina teenagers, whose attitudes toward pregnancy are more favorable than those of other groups and whose pregnancy rates are high.
Prospective, time-varying data from 2001–2004 were used to investigate whether two measures of pregnancy intentions, wantedness and happiness, mediated associations between risk factors and pregnancy among 213 Latina adolescents in San Francisco. Participants were tested for pregnancy and interviewed about pregnancy intentions, partnerships, family characteristics and activities every six months for two years. Associations and mediation were examined using logistic regression.
Neither pregnancy intention variable mediated relationships between participant characteristics and pregnancy. After adjustment for other measures, wantedness was strongly associated with pregnancy (odds ratio, 2.6), while happiness was not. Having a strong family orientation was associated with happiness (3.7) but unrelated to pregnancy. Low sexual relationship power with a main partner was associated with an elevated risk of pregnancy (3.3). If the pregnancy intentions of all participants were changed to definitely not wanting pregnancy, the estimated decline in pregnancy risk would be 16%.
Pregnancy intentions were important not as mediators but rather as independent risk factors for pregnancy. Differences in pregnancy rates between groups of Latinas may be less a function of intentional choice than of situational factors. Interventions and research should focus on identifying and targeting factors that hinder effective contraceptive use among teenagers who want to avoid pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC2951312  PMID: 20887287
3.  Factors associated with unintended pregnancy, poor birth outcomes and post-partum contraceptive use among HIV-positive female adolescents in Kenya 
BMC Women's Health  2012;12:34.
Although the experiences of unintended pregnancies and poor birth outcomes among adolescents aged 15–19 years in the general population are well documented, there is limited understanding of the same among those who are living with HIV. This paper examines the factors associated with experiencing unintended pregnancies, poor birth outcomes, and post-partum contraceptive use among HIV-positive female adolescents in Kenya.
Data are from a cross-sectional study that captured information on pregnancy histories of HIV-positive female adolescents in four regions of Kenya: Coast, Nairobi, Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces. Study participants were identified through HIV and AIDS programs in the four regions. Out of a total of 797 female participants, 394 had ever been pregnant with 24% of them experiencing multiple pregnancies. Analysis entails the estimation of random-effects logit models.
Higher order pregnancies were just as likely to be unintended as lower order ones (odds ratios [OR]: 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.8–2.0) while pregnancies occurring within marital unions were significantly less likely to be unintended compared to those occurring outside such unions (OR: 0.1; 95% CI: 0.1–0.2). Higher order pregnancies were significantly more likely to result in poor outcomes compared to lower order ones (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.6–4.0). In addition, pregnancies occurring within marital unions were significantly less likely to result in poor outcomes compared to those occurring outside such unions (OR: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.1–0.9). However, experiencing unintended pregnancy was not significantly associated with adverse birth outcomes (OR: 1.3; 95% CI: 0.5–3.3). There was also no significant difference in the likelihood of post-partum contraceptive use by whether the pregnancy was unintended (OR: 0.9; 95% CI: 0.5–1.5).
The experience of repeat unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive female adolescents in the sample is partly due to inconsistent use of contraception to prevent recurrence while poor birth outcomes among higher order pregnancies are partly due to abortion. This underscores the need for HIV and AIDS programs to provide appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services to HIV-positive adolescent clients in order to reduce the risk of undesired reproductive health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3492047  PMID: 23039966
HIV-positive female adolescents; Unintended pregnancy; Poor birth outcomes; Post-partum contraceptive use; Kenya
4.  Reproductive Outcomes Following Ectopic Pregnancy: Register-Based Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(6):e1001243.
Using Scottish national registry data, Sohinee Bhattacharya and colleagues investigate pregnancy outcomes following ectopic pregnancy in comparison to livebirth, miscarriage, or termination in a first pregnancy.
We aimed to compare reproductive outcomes following ectopic pregnancy (EP) versus livebirth, miscarriage, or termination in a first pregnancy.
Methods And Findings
A retrospective cohort study design was used. Scottish national data on all women whose first pregnancy occurred between 1981 and 2000 were linked to records of a subsequent pregnancy. The exposed cohort comprised women with an EP in their first pregnancy. There were three unexposed cohorts: women with livebirth, miscarriage, and termination of their first pregnancies. Any differences in rates of second pregnancy, livebirth, EP, miscarriage, or terminations and complications of a second ongoing pregnancy and delivery were assessed among the different exposure groups. A total of 2,969 women had an initial EP; 667,299 had a livebirth, 39,705 women miscarried, and 78,697 terminated their first pregnancies. Women with an initial EP had an increased chance of another pregnancy within 2 years (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 2.76 [95% CI 2.58–2.95]) or after 6 years (AHR 1.57 [95% CI 1.29–1.91]) compared to women with a livebirth. In comparison with women with an initial miscarriage, women who had an EP had a lower chance of a second pregnancy (AHR 0.53 [95% CI 0.50–0.56]). Compared to women with an initial termination, women with an EP had an increased chance of a second pregnancy (AHR 2.38 [95% CI 2.23–2.55]) within 2 years. Women with an initial EP suffered an increased risk of another EP compared to women with a livebirth (AHR 13.0 [95% CI 11.63–16.86]), miscarriage (AHR 6.07 [95% CI 4.83–7.62]), or termination (AHR 12.84 [95% CI 10.07–16.37]). Perinatal complications in a pregnancy following EP were not significantly higher than those in primigravidae or in women with a previous miscarriage or termination.
Women with an initial EP have a lower chance of conception than those who miscarry but an increased risk of a repeat EP in comparison with all three comparison groups. A major limitation of this study was the inability to separate women using contraception from those who were intending to conceive.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo (fertilized egg) implants outside the uterine cavity, usually in the fallopian tubes but sometimes in the cervix, ovaries, or abdomen. The prevalence for this condition is between 1%–2% of all pregnancies, and risk factors are thought to include pelvic infection, smoking, previous pelvic surgery, and use of certain types of intrauterine contraceptive devices. Ectopic pregnancies are potentially life threatening because as the fetus grows, it can lead to tubal rupture and abdominal bleeding—for example, in the UK, ectopic pregnancies are responsible for almost three-quarters of early pregnancy-related deaths. However, due to improvements in early diagnosis, in high income countries, deaths from ectopic pregnancies have become increasingly rare.
Why Was This Study Done?
Having an ectopic pregnancy can have serious implications for future fertility and subsequent pregnancies but to date, there is little information on reproductive outcomes in women who have had an ectopic pregnancy. So in this study, the researchers used a population-based cohort of women in Scotland to examine future reproductive outcomes in women who had an initial ectopic pregnancy and then compare these outcomes to those in women following a successful (live birth) or unsuccessful (miscarriage or termination) intrauterine pregnancy.
What Did The Researchers Do And Find?
The researchers used a national database (The Scottish Morbidity Record) and hospital discharge information to identify women who had ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, terminations, or on-going pregnancies between 1981–2000. Then, using unique linking identifiers, they were able to examine the outcomes of subsequent pregnancies and conducted a statistical analysis to investigate whether the first pregnancy outcome had any effect on second pregnancy outcomes.
 The researchers found that during the time period studied, in their first pregnancy, 2,969 women had an ectopic pregnancy, 39,705 women miscarried, 78,697 women underwent termination, and the majority, 667,299, gave birth to a live infant. The researchers then found that compared to women with an initial live birth, women with an ectopic pregnancy were 2.76 times more likely to conceive a second pregnancy within two years. However, compared to women whose first pregnancies ended in miscarriage, women with an initial ectopic pregnancy were significantly less likely to conceive a second time but had an increased chance of a second pregnancy within two years compared to women who terminated their first pregnancy. Importantly, the researchers found that women with an initial ectopic pregnancy had a higher risk of a further ectopic pregnancy compared to all the other groups of women. Furthermore, these women had a significantly higher risk of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and emergency cesarean delivery in their next continuing pregnancy compared to women who had a previous live birth. However, these risks were not significantly higher than women who had an early loss in a first pregnancy.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that women with an initial ectopic pregnancy have a lower chance of conception than those who miscarry and also have an increased risk of a repeat ectopic pregnancy compared to women who experience miscarriage, termination, or a live birth in their first pregnancy. However, as the researchers did not have any information on contraception use, a major limitation of this study is the inability to separate women using contraception from those who were intending to conceive—women who experienced an ectopic pregnancy may not want to conceive again after a traumatic experience rather than being unable to conceive because of tubal damage. However, the results of this study may help doctors to counsel women with an ectopic pregnancy at the time of initial diagnosis and treatment, and in those willing to conceive again, offer follow-up to discuss future fertility and possible risks of subsequent pregnancy. Further research will help to investigate whether the site of ectopic pregnancy affects future reproductive outcomes.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The American Pregnancy Association and the UK National Health Service (NHS) Choices give information on ectopic pregnancy
The UK nonprofit organization Ectopic Pregnancy Trust provides support for individuals affected by ectopic pregnancy
PMCID: PMC3378618  PMID: 22723747
5.  Young Women’s Perceptions of the Benefits of Childbearing: Associations with Contraceptive Use and Pregnancy 
High unintended pregnancy rates, and inconsistencies between reported pregnancy intentions and contraceptive behaviors, have been well documented among young U.S. women. Women’s beliefs about the benefits of childbearing and motherhood may be related to the apparent disconnect between pregnancy intentions and reproductive outcomes.
Perceived benefits of childbearing and feelings about a potential pregnancy were assessed among 1,377 women aged 15–24 (most of them black or Latina) participating in a longitudinal study in 2005–2008. The women, who were initiating hormonal contraception at public family planning clinics and did not want to become pregnant for one year, were followed for 12 months. Differences in perceived benefits of childbearing by participant characteristics were examined with linear regression, using a new multi-item measure. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to investigate the association of perceived benefits of childbearing with subsequent contraceptive discontinuation and pregnancy.
Perceptions of the benefits of childbearing decreased with increasing age (coefficient, −0.04), and white women perceived fewer benefits to childbearing than blacks (−0.2) and Latinas (p ≤ .01). As women’s perception of the benefits of childbearing increased, their one-year pregnancy rates increased, after demographic characteristics and feelings about a potential pregnancy were controlled for (hazard ratio, 1.2). Benefits of childbearing were not associated with contraceptive discontinuation.
To better assess pregnancy risk among young women wanting to avoid pregnancy, it may be useful to acknowledge that they hold not only explicit pregnancy desires, but also beliefs about the benefits of childbearing, which may influence sexual behavior and pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC3620026  PMID: 23489854
6.  Impact of Antiretroviral Therapy on Incidence of Pregnancy among HIV-Infected Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000229.
A multicountry cohort study in sub-Saharan Africa by Landon Myer and colleagues reveals higher pregnancy rates in HIV-infected women on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
With the rapid expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) services in sub-Saharan Africa there is growing recognition of the importance of fertility and childbearing among HIV-infected women. However there are few data on whether ART initiation influences pregnancy rates.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed data from the Mother-to-Child Transmission-Plus (MTCT-Plus) Initiative, a multicountry HIV care and treatment program for women, children, and families. From 11 programs in seven African countries, women were enrolled into care regardless of HIV disease stage and followed at regular intervals; ART was initiated according to national guidelines on the basis of immunological and/or clinical criteria. Standardized forms were used to collect sociodemographic and clinical data, including incident pregnancies. Overall 589 incident pregnancies were observed among the 4,531 women included in this analysis (pregnancy incidence, 7.8/100 person-years [PY]). The rate of new pregnancies was significantly higher among women receiving ART (9.0/100 PY) compared to women not on ART (6.5/100 PY) (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.74; 95% confidence interval, 1.19–2.54). Other factors independently associated with increased risk of incident pregnancy included younger age, lower educational attainment, being married or cohabiting, having a male partner enrolled into the program, failure to use nonbarrier contraception, and higher CD4 cell counts.
ART use is associated with significantly higher pregnancy rates among HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa. While the possible behavioral or biomedical mechanisms that may underlie this association require further investigation, these data highlight the importance of pregnancy planning and management as a critical but neglected component of HIV care and treatment services.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which is a major global cause of disease and death. More than 33 million people around the world are infected with HIV, with nearly 5,500 dying daily from HIV and AIDS-related complications. HIV/AIDS is especially problematic in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is the leading cause of death. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medicines known as “antiretroviral therapy” (ART) can prolong life and reduce complications in patients infected with HIV. 97% of patients with HIV/AIDS live in low- and middle-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 10 million of these patients need ART. As patients' access to treatment is often hindered by the high cost and low availability of ART, global health efforts have focused on promoting ART use in resource-limited nations. Such efforts also increase awareness of how HIV is spread (contact with blood or semen, in sexual intercourse, sharing needles, or from mother to child during childbirth). ART reduces, but does not remove, the chance of a mother's passing HIV to her child during birth.
Why Was This Study Done?
By the end of 2007, 3 million HIV-infected patients in poor countries were receiving ART. Many of those treated with ART are young women of child-bearing age. Childbirth is an important means of spreading HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, where 60% of all HIV patients are women. This study questions whether the improved health and life expectancy that results from treatment with ART affects pregnancy rates of HIV-infected patients. The study explores this question in seven African countries, by examining the rates of pregnancy in HIV-infected women before and after they started ART.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors looked at the records of 4,531 HIV-infected women enrolled in the Mother-to-Child-Transmission-Plus (MTCT-Plus) Initiative in seven African countries. MTCT -Plus, begun in 2002, is a family-centered treatment program that offers regular checkups, blood tests, counseling, and ART treatment (if appropriate) to women and their families. At each checkup, women's CD4+ cell counts and World Health Organization guidelines were used to determine their eligibility for starting ART. Over a 4-year period, nearly a third of the women starting ART experienced a pregnancy: 244 pregnancies occurred in the “pre-ART” group (women not receiving ART) compared to 345 pregnancies in the “on-ART” group (women receiving ART). The chance of pregnancy increased over time in the on-ART group to almost 80% greater than the pre-ART group, while remaining relatively low and constant in the pre-ART group. The authors noted that, as expected, other factors also increased the chances of pregnancy, including younger age, lower educational status, and use of nonbarrier contraception such as injectable hormones.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study suggests that starting ART is associated with higher pregnancy rates in sub-Saharan Africa, nearly doubling the chances of a woman becoming pregnant. The reasons for this link are unclear. One possible explanation is behavioral: women receiving ART may feel more motivated to have children as their health and quality of life improve. However, the study did not examine how pregnancy desires and sexual activity of women changed while on ART, and cannot discern why ART is linked to increased pregnancy. By using pregnancy data gathered from patient questionnaires rather than laboratory tests, the study is limited by the possibility of inaccurate patient reporting. Understanding how pregnancy rates vary in HIV-infected women receiving ART helps support the formation of responsive, effective HIV programs. Female HIV patients of child-bearing age, who form the majority of patients receiving ART in sub-Saharan Africa, would benefit from programs that combine starting HIV treatment with ART with education and contraception counseling and pregnancy-related care.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including a list of articles and other sources of information about the primary care of adolescents with HIV
A UNAIDS 2008 report is available on the global AIDS epidemic
The International Planned Parenthood Foundation provides information on sexual and reproductive health and HIV
The International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public health provides information to assist HIV care and treatment programs in resource-limited settings
PMCID: PMC2817715  PMID: 20161723
7.  Correlates of delayed sexual intercourse and condom use among adolescents in Uganda: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:817.
Comprehensive sex education, including the promotion of consistent condom use, is still an important intervention strategy in tackling unplanned pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among Ugandan adolescents. This study examines predictors of the intention to use a condom and the intention to delay sexual intercourse among secondary school students (aged 12–20) in Uganda.
A school-based sample was drawn from 48 secondary schools throughout Uganda. Participants (N = 1978) completed a survey in English measuring beliefs regarding pregnancy, STIs and HIV and AIDS, attitudes, social norms and self-efficacy towards condom use and abstinence/delay, intention to use a condom and intention to delay sexual intercourse. As secondary sexual abstinence is one of the recommended ways for preventing HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancies among the sexually experienced, participants with and without previous sexual experience were compared.
For adolescents without sexual experience (virgins), self-efficacy, perceived social norms and attitude towards condom use predicted the intention to use condoms. Among those with sexual experience (non-virgins), only perceived social norm was a significant predictor. The intention to delay sexual intercourse was, however, predicted similarly for both groups, with attitudes, perceived social norm and self-efficacy being significant predictors.
This study has established relevant predictors of intentions of safe sex among young Ugandans and has shown that the intention to use condoms is motivated by different factors depending on previous sexual experience. A segmented approach to intervention development and implementation is thus recommended.
PMCID: PMC3503743  PMID: 22998762
Ugandan adolescents; Delayed sexual intercourse; Condom use; Attitudes; Social norms; Self-efficacy; Segmented approach; sub-Saharan Africa
8.  Effect of prospectively measured pregnancy intentions on the consistency of contraceptive use among young women in Michigan 
What is the predictive value of pregnancy intentions on contraceptive behaviours among women aged 18–19?
Women aged 18–19 have high levels of inconsistent use of contraception, which mostly occur at times when women strongly wish to avoid a pregnancy.
Pregnancy intentions provide an indication of how well individuals achieve their reproductive goals. However, retrospective accounts of pregnancy intentions using dichotomous indicators suffer temporal instability and fail to capture the wide range of attitudes towards pregnancy.
In this study, data are drawn from a population-based survey of 992 women of ages 18–19 years in Michigan, who completed weekly journals assessing contraceptive use, pregnancy intentions and reproductive outcomes during 2.5 years of follow-up. The response rate was 86% for the baseline interview and 65% after 2.5 years of follow-up.
We examined 15 446 pairs of journal entries. We used logistic regression with random effects to assess the predictive effect of women's desire to become pregnant and to avoid a pregnancy, measured each week, on consistency of use of contraception the following week.
Women reported inconsistent use of contraception in more than a quarter of weekly journals (28.3%). Consistent use of contraception increased from 22 to 78% as women s intentions to become pregnant decreased and increased from 23 to 78% as motivations to avoid pregnancy increased. The combination of scores of the pregnancy desire and avoidance scales shows indifferent or ambivalent pregnancy attitudes in 8.6% of weekly records. These women were more likely to report inconsistent contraceptive use compared with women who expressed anti-conception attitudes [OR = 2.8 (2.2–3.5)]. However, 23% of women who had unequivocal anti-conception feelings did not use contraception consistently, contributing to 72% of the weeks of inconsistent use in our population.
In this study, consistency of contraceptive use, based on the use of contraception at every act of intercourse, does not fully capture a women's risk of becoming pregnant. The 35% attrition after 2.5 years may have affected the internal validity of our results, although a reanalysis based on the first year of observation produced very similar results.
Because most instances of inconsistent use of contraception occur among women who are keen to avoid a pregnancy, our results suggest there is room for improving contraceptive behaviours by promoting use of methods which do not require user adherence.
This work was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for grant #R01-HDHD050329 (P.I. Barber, University of Michigan) and grant #R24HD047879 (Center infrastructure of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, JT and KSH). None of the authors have a competing interest.
PMCID: PMC3619965  PMID: 23241838
contraception behaviour; pregnancy intentions; adolescent; cohort study
9.  Which outcome expectancies are important in determining young adults’ intentions to use condoms with casual sexual partners?: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:133.
The prevalence of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection amongst young adults represents an important public health problem in the UK. Individuals’ attitude towards the use of condoms has been identified as an important determinant of behavioural intentions and action. The Theory of Planned Behaviour has been widely used to explain and predict health behaviour. This posits that the degree to which an individual positively or negatively values a behaviour (termed ‘direct attitude’) is based upon consideration of the likelihood of a number of outcomes occurring (outcome expectancy) weighted by the perceived desirability of those outcomes (outcome evaluation). Outcome expectancy and outcome evaluation when multiplied form ‘indirect attitude’. The study aimed to assess whether positive outcome expectancies of unprotected sex were more important for young adults with lower safe sex intentions, than those with safer sex intentions, and to isolate optimal outcomes for targeting through health promotion campaigns.
A cross-sectional survey design was used. Data was collected from 1051 school and university students aged 16–24 years. Measures of intention, direct attitude and indirect attitude were taken. Participants were asked to select outcome expectancies which were most important in determining whether they would use condoms with casual sexual partners.
People with lower safe sex intentions were more likely than those with safer sex intentions to select all positive outcome expectancies for unprotected sex as salient, and less likely to select all negative outcome expectancies as salient. Outcome expectancies for which the greatest proportion of participants in the less safe sex group held an unfavourable position were: showing that I am a caring person, making sexual experiences less enjoyable, and protecting against pregnancy.
The findings point to ways in which the attitudes of those with less safe sex intentions could be altered in order to motivate positive behavioural change. They suggest that it would be advantageous to highlight the potential for condom use to demonstrate a caring attitude, to challenge the potential for protected sex to reduce sexual pleasure, and to target young adults’ risk appraisals for pregnancy as a consequence of unprotected sex with casual sexual partners.
PMCID: PMC3599836  PMID: 23406327
Outcome expectancies; Condom use; Theory of planned behaviour; Attitude; Expectancy-value muddle; Dimensional salience
10.  Associations between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001581.
Lucy Chappell and colleagues conduct a systematic review and meta analysis to investigate a possible association between intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Intimate partner violence (IPV) and termination of pregnancy (TOP) are global health concerns, but their interaction is undetermined. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an association between IPV and TOP.
Methods and Findings
A systematic review based on a search of Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and Ovid Maternity and Infant Care from each database's inception to 21 September 2013 for peer-reviewed articles of any design and language found 74 studies regarding women who had undergone TOP and had experienced at least one domain (physical, sexual, or emotional) of IPV. Prevalence of IPV and association between IPV and TOP were meta-analysed. Sample sizes ranged from eight to 33,385 participants. Worldwide, rates of IPV in the preceding year in women undergoing TOP ranged from 2.5% to 30%. Lifetime prevalence by meta-analysis was shown to be 24.9% (95% CI 19.9% to 30.6%); heterogeneity was high (I2>90%), and variation was not explained by study design, quality, or size, or country gross national income per capita. IPV, including history of rape, sexual assault, contraceptive sabotage, and coerced decision-making, was associated with TOP, and with repeat TOPs. By meta-analysis, partner not knowing about the TOP was shown to be significantly associated with IPV (pooled odds ratio 2.97, 95% CI 2.39 to 3.69). Women in violent relationships were more likely to have concealed the TOP from their partner than those who were not. Demographic factors including age, ethnicity, education, marital status, income, employment, and drug and alcohol use showed no strong or consistent mediating effect. Few long-term outcomes were studied. Women welcomed the opportunity to disclose IPV and be offered help. Limitations include study heterogeneity, potential underreporting of both IPV and TOP in primary data sources, and inherent difficulties in validation.
IPV is associated with TOP. Novel public health approaches are required to prevent IPV. TOP services provide an opportune health-based setting to design and test interventions.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Intimate partner violence (sometimes referred to as domestic violence) is one of the commonest forms of violence against women and is a global health problem. The World Health Organization defines intimate partner violence as any act of physical, psychological, or sexual aggression or any controlling behavior (for example, restriction of access to assistance) perpetrated by the woman's current or past intimate partner. Although men also experience it, intimate partner violence is overwhelmingly experienced by women, particularly when repeated or severe. Studies indicate that the prevalence (the percentage of a population affected by a condition) of intimate partner violence varies widely within and between countries: the prevalence of intimate partner violence among women ranges from 15% in Japan to 71% in Ethiopia, and the lifetime prevalence of rape (forced sex) within intimate relationships ranges from 5.9% to 42% across the world, for example. Overall, a third of women experience intimate partner violence at some time during their lifetimes. The health consequences of such violence include physical injury, depression, suicidal behavior, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Why Was This Study Done?
Intimate partner violence can also lead to gynecological disorders (conditions affecting the female reproductive organs), unwanted pregnancy, premature labour and birth, and sexually transmitted infections. Because violence may begin or intensify during pregnancy, some countries recommend routine questioning about intimate partner violence during antenatal care. However, women seeking termination of pregnancy (induced abortion) are not routinely asked about intimate partner violence. Every year, many women worldwide terminate a pregnancy. Nearly half of these terminations are unsafe, and complications arising from unsafe abortions are responsible for more than 10% of maternal deaths (deaths from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications). It is important to know whether intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy are associated in order to develop effective strategies to deal with both these global health concerns. Here, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the associations between intimate partner violence and termination or pregnancy. A systematic review identifies all the research on a given topic using predefined criteria; meta-analysis combines the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 74 studies that provided information about experiences of intimate partner violence among women who had had a termination of pregnancy. Data in these studies indicated that, worldwide, intimate partner violence rates among women undergoing termination ranged from 2.5% to 30% in the preceding year and from 14% to 40% over their lifetime. In the meta-analysis, the lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence was 24.9% among termination-seeking populations. The identified studies provided evidence that intimate partner violence was associated with termination and with repeat termination. In one study, for example, women presenting for a third termination were more than two and a half times more likely to have a history of physical or sexual violence than women presenting for their first termination. Moreover, according to the meta-analysis, women in violent relationships were three times as likely to conceal a termination from their partner as women in non-violent relationships. Finally, the studies indicated that women undergoing terminations of pregnancy welcomed the opportunity to disclose their experiences of intimate partner violence and to be offered help.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that intimate partner violence is associated with termination of pregnancy and that a woman's partner not knowing about the termination is a risk factor for intimate partner violence among women seeking termination. Overall, the researchers' findings support the concept that violence can lead to pregnancy and to subsequent termination of pregnancy, and that there may be a repetitive cycle of abuse and pregnancy. The accuracy of these findings is limited by heterogeneity (variability) among the included studies, by the likelihood of underreporting of both intimate partner violence and termination in the included studies, and by lack of validation of reports of violence through, for example, police reports. Nevertheless, health-care professionals should consider the possibility that women seeking termination of pregnancy may be experiencing intimate partner violence. In trying to prevent repeat terminations, health-care professionals should be aware that while focusing on preventing conception may reduce the chances of a woman becoming pregnant, she may still be vulnerable to abuse. Finally, given the clear associations between intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy, the researchers suggest that termination services represent an appropriate setting in which to test interventions designed to reduce intimate partner violence.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health organization provides detailed information about intimate partner violence and about termination of pregnancy (some information available in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about intimate partner violence and about termination of pregnancy (in English and Spanish)
The World Bank has a webpage that discusses the role of the health sector in preventing gender-based violence and a webpage with links to other resources about gender-based violence
The Gender and Health Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council provides links to further resources about intimate partner violence (research briefs/policy briefs/fact sheets/research reports)
DIVERHSE (Domestic & Interpersonal Violence: Effecting Responses in the Health Sector in Europe) is a European forum for health professionals, nongovernmental organizations, policy-makers, and academics to share their expertise and good practice in developing and evaluating interventions to address violence against women and children in a variety of health-care settings
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Gender Violence and Health Centre also has a number of research resources
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides personal stories of intimate partner violence during pregnancy
The March of Dimes provides information on identifying intimate partner violence during pregnancy and making a safety plan
PMCID: PMC3883805  PMID: 24409101
11.  Adolescent pregnancy desire and pregnancy incidence 
Research has suggested the importance of pregnancy desire in explaining pregnancy risk behavior among adolescent females. Much of the literature, however, uses cross-sectional study designs to examine this relationship. Because bias may strongly influence these results, more prospective studies are needed to confirm the relationship between pregnancy desire and pregnancy incidence over time.
Non-pregnant adolescents aged 14-19 years (N=208) completed baseline interviews and interviews every 6 months thereafter for 18 months. Logistic regression was used to examine demographic and psychosocial correlates of pregnancy desire. Cox regression analysis was used to determine if pregnancy desire predicted pregnancy incidence over time after controlling for potential confounders.
Twenty-four percent of participants either desired pregnancy or were ambivalent towards pregnancy in the next year. Pregnancy desire was associated with older age, relationship duration of less than 6 months, and higher perceived stress. After accounting for potential confounders, pregnancy desire doubled the risk of becoming pregnant over the 18 month follow-up period (RR=2.00, 95% CI=0.99-4.02). Additionally, a heightened risk for pregnancy was found among those who expressed some desire for pregnancy and who were not in school compared to those who expressed no desire for pregnancy and who were in school (RR=4.84, 95% CI=1.21-19.31).
Our analysis reinforces the importance of evaluating pregnancy desire among sexually active adolescent females. Interventions should target young women in new romantic relationships and who are not in school to improve pregnancy prevention efforts. Additionally, improving coping abilities may help reduce feelings of pregnancy desire among adolescent females.
PMCID: PMC3052996  PMID: 21177123
12.  Attitudes toward Family Planning among HIV-Positive Pregnant Women Enrolled in a Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission Study in Kisumu, Kenya 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e66593.
Preventing unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive women through family planning (FP) reduces pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality, decreases the number of pediatric HIV infections, and has also proven to be a cost-effective way to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. A key element of a comprehensive HIV prevention agenda, aimed at avoiding unintended pregnancies, is recognizing the attitudes towards FP among HIV-positive women and their spouse or partner. In this study, we analyze FP attitudes among HIV-infected pregnant women enrolled in a PMTCT clinical trial in Western Kenya.
Methods and Findings
Baseline data were collected on 522 HIV-positive pregnant women using structured questionnaires. Associations between demographic variables and the future intention to use FP were examined using Fisher's exact tests and permutation tests. Most participants (87%) indicated that they intended to use FP. However, only 8% indicated condoms as a preferred FP method, and 59% of current pregnancies were unintended. Factors associated with positive intentions to use FP were: marital status (p = 0.04), having talked to their spouse or partner about FP (p<0.001), perceived spouse or partner approval of FP (p<0.001), previous use of a FP method (p = 0.006), attitude toward the current pregnancy (p = 0.02), disclosure of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis (p = 0.03) and ethnic group (p = 0.03).
A significant gap exists between future FP intentions and current FP practices. Support and approval by the spouse or partner are key elements of FP intentions. Counseling services should be offered to both members of a couple to increase FP use, especially given the high number of unplanned pregnancies among HIV-positive women. Condoms should be promoted as part of a dual use method for HIV and STI prevention and for contraception. Integration of individual and couple FP services into routine HIV care, treatment and support services is needed in order to avoid unintended pregnancies and to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3753279  PMID: 23990868
13.  Indonesian couple’s pregnancy ambivalence and contraceptive use 
Recognizing pregnancy ambivalence is important for family planning policy and programming efforts. Most studies on pregnancy ambivalence are based on data from women; using partner’s perceived pregnancy intentions whenever partners are considered. This study examines couple’s pregnancy ambivalence and the association with contraceptive use in Indonesia.
Matched couple data from the 2002-2003 Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey are used to examine contraceptive use, fertility desires, and responses to whether a pregnancy in the next few weeks would be a big problem, small problem or no problem. Inconsistent fertility desires and responses to the problem question are used to define ambivalence. Response patterns and concordance between partners is evaluated. Multivariate logistic regression analyses are used to assess whether couple’s pregnancy ambivalence is associated with contraceptive use.
71% of husbands and 54% of wives report that a pregnancy in the next few weeks would be “no problem.” Couple’s concordance on the problem question is 63% (kappa statistic = 0.26) among contraceptive users and 61% (0.24) among non-users. In the multivariate analysis, couples who were discordant on the problem question were 24% less likely to use contraception than were couples in which both partners agreed a pregnancy would be a big or small problem. Results were not statistically significant at p≥0.05 in a model with a disaggregated variable on couple’s discordance that identified which partner was ambivalent; this might be related to small cell sizes. Contraceptive use was also less likely for couples with discordant fertility desires.
Husbands and wives influence each other’s fertility attitudes and family planning use. To improve effective contraceptive use and/or continuation, couple’s pregnancy attitudes should be taken into account at the time of screening and method selection.
PMCID: PMC3883040  PMID: 20403804
14.  Pregnancy Ambivalence and Contraceptive Use Among Young Adults in the United States 
Pregnancy ambivalence, or conflicted desire about having a baby, has been associated with decreased contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy. However, prior studies have neither included men nor focused on young adults, even though people in their 20s have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy.
Nationally representative data from 2008–2009 were used to examine pregnancy ambivalence and its association with contraceptive practices among 774 respondents who were 18–29 years old and in current sexual relationships. Bivariate and multivariate analyses assessed relationships between pregnancy ambivalence, contraceptive use, gender and other social, demographic and psychosocial variables.
Forty-five percent of respondents exhibited pregnancy ambivalence. The proportion was higher among men than among women (53% vs. 36%), and the diference remained significant in the multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 2.9). Ambivalence was associated with lowered likelihood of contraceptive use, but this relationship was statistically significant only for men: Compared with men with clear intentions to avoid pregnancy, ambivalent men were less likely to have used any method of contraception in the last month (0.4).
The association between men’s pregnancy ambivalence and contraceptive practices suggests that women should not remain the sole targets of pregnancy prevention programs. Further research should explore whether clinical interventions that assess and address pregnancy ambivalence for both women and men could lead to improved contraceptive counseling and use.
PMCID: PMC3730441  PMID: 23231331
15.  Prospective Assessment of Pregnancy Intentions Using a Single- Versus a Multi-Item Measure 
Traditional measures of pregnancy intentions that are dichotomous and retrospective do not fully capture the complexity surrounding women’s plans to become pregnant.
During January–June 2008, 249 women aged 15–44 awaiting pregnancy test results at family planning clinics in Pittsburgh completed a survey containing both single- and multi-item measures of pregnancy intentions. Chi-square analyses were used to assess differences between subgroups of women.
Few women were trying to become or planning for pregnancy (11% on the single-item measure; 20% on the multi-item measure), while approximately one-third of the sample were not trying to become or planning for pregnancy (31% on the single-item and 36% on the multi-item measure). The single-item measure categorized more women as ambivalent about pregnancy (58%) than did the multi-item measure (44%). Of women categorized as ambivalent by the single-item measure, 62% were also categorized as ambivalent by the multi-item measure. Overall, 68% of responses to the two measures were concordant. With both measures, women who were not planning or trying for pregnancy were more likely than those who were planning for pregnancy or who were ambivalent to indicate that they planned to have an abortion if their test was positive (27–29% vs. 0–2%).
Prospective assessment of pregnancy intention with either a single- or a multi-item measure may allow for a more nuanced assessment of pregnancy intention than current measures. The multi-item measure may reduce the number of women categorized as ambivalent and aid the development of targeted contraceptive and preconception counseling interventions.
PMCID: PMC2939374  PMID: 20444179
16.  The Association between Sequences of Sexual Initiation and the Likelihood of Teenage Pregnancy 
Few studies have examined the health and developmental consequences, including unintended pregnancy, of different sexual behavior initiation sequences. Some work suggests that engaging in oral-genital sex first may slow the transition to coital activity and lead to more consistent contraception among adolescents.
Using logistic regression analysis, we investigated the association between sequences of sexual initiation (i.e., initiating oral-genital or vaginal sex first based on reported ages of first experience) and the likelihood of subsequent teenage pregnancy among 6,069 females who reported vaginal sex before age 20 and participated in Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).
Among females initiating vaginal sex first, 31.4% reported a teen pregnancy. Among females initiating two behaviors at the same age, 20.5% reported a teen pregnancy. Among females initiating oral-genital sex first, 7.9% reported a teen pregnancy. In multivariate models, initiating oral-genital sex first, with a delay of at least one year to vaginal sex, and initiating two behaviors within the same year were each associated with a lower likelihood of adolescent pregnancy, relative to teens who initiated vaginal sex first (OR=0.23, 95% CI (0.15, 0.37) and OR=0.78, 95% CI (0.60, 0.92), respectively).
How adolescents begin their sexual lives may be differentially related to positive and negative health outcomes. To develop effective pregnancy prevention efforts for teens and ensure programs are relevant to youths’ needs, it is important to consider multiple facets of sexual initiation and their implications for adolescent sexual health and fertility.
PMCID: PMC3551538  PMID: 23332489
17.  The Long-Term Effects of a Peer-Led Sex Education Programme (RIPPLE): A Cluster Randomised Trial in Schools in England 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(11):e224.
Peer-led sex education is widely believed to be an effective approach to reducing unsafe sex among young people, but reliable evidence from long-term studies is lacking. To assess the effectiveness of one form of school-based peer-led sex education in reducing unintended teenage pregnancy, we did a cluster (school) randomised trial with 7 y of follow-up.
Methods and Findings
Twenty-seven representative schools in England, with over 9,000 pupils aged 13–14 y at baseline, took part in the trial. Schools were randomised to either peer-led sex education (intervention) or to continue their usual teacher-led sex education (control). Peer educators, aged 16–17 y, were trained to deliver three 1-h classroom sessions of sex education to 13- to 14-y-old pupils from the same schools. The sessions used participatory learning methods designed to improve the younger pupils' skills in sexual communication and condom use and their knowledge about pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), contraception, and local sexual health services. Main outcome measures were abortion and live births by age 20 y, determined by anonymised linkage of girls to routine (statutory) data. Assessment of these outcomes was blind to sex education allocation. The proportion of girls who had one or more abortions before age 20 y was the same in each arm (intervention, 5.0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.0%–6.3%]; control, 5.0% [95% CI 4.0%–6.4%]). The odds ratio (OR) adjusted for randomisation strata was 1.07 (95% CI 0.80–1.42, p = 0.64, intervention versus control). The proportion of girls with one or more live births by 20.5 y was 7.5% (95% CI 5.9%–9.6%) in the intervention arm and 10.6% (95% CI 6.8%–16.1%) in the control arm, adjusted OR 0.77 (0.51–1.15). Fewer girls in the peer-led arm self-reported a pregnancy by age 18 y (7.2% intervention versus 11.2% control, adjusted OR 0.62 [95% CI 0.42–0.91], weighted for non-response; response rate 61% intervention, 45% control). There were no significant differences for girls or boys in self-reported unprotected first sex, regretted or pressured sex, quality of current sexual relationship, diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases, or ability to identify local sexual health services.
Compared with conventional school sex education at age 13–14 y, this form of peer-led sex education was not associated with change in teenage abortions, but may have led to fewer teenage births and was popular with pupils. It merits consideration within broader teenage pregnancy prevention strategies.
Trial registration:
ISRCTN (ISRCTN94255362).
Judith Stephenson and colleagues report on a cluster randomized trial in London of school-based peer-led sex education and whether it reduced unintended teenage pregnancy.
Editors' Summary
Teenage pregnancies are fraught with problems. Children born to teenage mothers are often underweight, which can affect their long-term health; young mothers have a high risk of poor mental health after the birth; and teenage parents and their children are at increased risk of living in poverty. Little wonder, then, that faced with one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Western Europe, the Department of Health in England launched a national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 2000 to reduce teenage pregnancies. The main goal of the strategy is to halve the 1998 under-18 pregnancy rate—there were 46.6 pregnancies for every 1,000 young women in this age group in that year—by 2010. Approaches recommended in the strategy to achieve this goal include the provision of effective sexual health advice services for young people, active engagement of health, social, youth support, and other services in the reduction of teenage pregnancies, and the improvement of sex and relationships education (SRE).
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the annual under-18 pregnancy rate in England is falling, it is still very high, and it is extremely unlikely that the main goal of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy will be achieved. Experts are, therefore, looking for better ways to reduce both teenage pregnancy rates and the high rates of sexual transmitted diseases among teenagers. Many believe that peer-led SRE—the teaching (sharing) of sexual health information, values, and behaviours by people of a similar age or status group—might be a good approach to try. Peers, they suggest, might convey information about sexual health and relationships better than teachers. However, little is known about the long-term effectiveness of peer-led SRE. In this randomized cluster trial, the researchers compare the effects of a peer-led SRE program and teacher-led sex education given to13- to 14-y-old pupils on abortion and live birth numbers among young women up to age 20 y. In a cluster randomized trial, participants are randomly assigned to the interventions being compared in “clusters”; in this trial, each “cluster” is a school.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Twenty-seven schools in England (about 9,000 13- to 14-y-old pupils) participated in the RIPPLE (Randomized Intervention of PuPil-Led sex Education) trial. Each school was randomly assigned to peer-led SRE (the intervention arm) or to existing teacher-led SRE (the control arm). For peer-led SRE, trained 16- to 17-y-old peer educators gave three 1-h SRE sessions to the younger pupils in their schools. These sessions included practice with condoms, role play to improve sexual negotiating skills, and exercises to improve knowledge about sexual health. The researchers then used routine data on abortions and live births to find out how many female study participants had had an unintended pregnancy before the age of 20 y. One in 20 girls in both study arms had had one or more abortions. Slightly more girls in the control arm than in the intervention arm had had live births, but the difference was small and might have occurred by chance. However, significantly more girls in the intervention arm (11.2%) self-reported a pregnancy by age 18 than in the intervention arm (7.2%). There were no differences between the two arms for girls or boys in any other aspect of sexual health, including sexually transmitted diseases.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the peer-led SRE program used in this trial had no effect on the number of teenage abortions but may have led to slightly fewer live births among the young women in the study. This particular peer-led SRE program was very short so a more extended program might have had a more marked effect on teenage pregnancy rates; this possibility needs to be tested, particularly since the pupils preferred peer-led SRE to teacher-led SRE. Even though peer-led SRE requires more resources than teacher-led SRE, this form of SRE should probably still be considered as part of a broad teenage prevention strategy, suggest the researchers. But, they warn, their findings should also “temper high expectations about the long-term impact of peer-led approaches” on young people's sexual health.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by David Ross
Every Child Matters, a Web site produced by the UK government, includes information on teenage pregnancy, the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, and teenage pregnancy statistics in England
Directgov, an official government Web site for UK citizens, provides advice for parents on talking to children about sex and teenage pregnancyand advice for young people on sexual health and preventing pregnancy
Teachernet, a UK source of online publications for schools, also provides information for parents about sex and relationships education and the UK government's current guidance on SRE in schools
Avert, an international AIDS charity, also provides a fact sheet on sex education
The Sex Education Forum in the UK is the national authority on Sex and Relationships Education
PMCID: PMC2586352  PMID: 19067478
18.  Reproductive Intentions and Outcomes among Women on Antiretroviral Therapy in Rural Uganda: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(1):e4149.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) may influence the biological, social and behavioral determinants of pregnancy in HIV-infected women. However, there are limited longitudinal data on the reproductive intentions and outcomes among women on ART in Africa.
Methodology /Principal Findings
Using a prospective cohort design, we analyzed trends in desire for children and predictors of pregnancy among a cohort of 733 HIV-infected women in rural Uganda who initiated ART between May 2003 and May 2004 and were followed up in their homes until June 2006. Women answered in-depth social and behavioral questionnaires administered every quarter in year 1 after initiating ART, and every 6 to 12 months thereafter. Use of family planning methods was assessed at 18 and 24 months after starting ART. We tested for non-constant pregnancy incidence by using a shape parameter test from the Weibull distribution. We modeled repeated measurements of all variables related to the women's desire for children over time using a generalized estimating equation (GEE) extension to the logistic regression model. Risk factors for pregnancy were examined using Cox proportional hazards model. 711 women eligible for the study were followed-up for a median time of 2.4 years after starting ART. During this time, less than 7% of women reported wanting more children at any time point yet 120 (16.9%) women experienced 140 pregnancies and pregnancy incidence increased from 3.46 per 100 women-years (WY) in the first quarter to 9.5 per 100 WY at 24 months (p<0.0001). This was paralleled by an increase in the proportion of women reporting sexual activity in the past 3 months, from 24.4% at baseline to 32.5% over 24 months of follow-up (p = 0.001). Only 14% of women used permanent or semi-permanent family planning methods by their second year on ART. In the multivariate model, younger age (HR = 2.71 per 10-year decrease, 95% CI: 2.95–3.78), having a BMI>18.5 (HR = 1.09, CI: 1.01–1.18) and not having used condoms consistently in the last 3 months (HR = 1.79, CI: 1.02–3.13) were independently associated with pregnancy.
Women on ART and their partners should be consistently counseled on the effects of ART in restoring fertility, and offered regularly free and comprehensive family planning services as part of their standard package of care.
PMCID: PMC2612743  PMID: 19129911
19.  In Their Own Words: Romantic Relationships and the Sexual Health of Young African American Women 
Public Health Reports  2013;128(Suppl 1):33-42.
We assessed young African American women's understanding of “dual protection” (DP) (i.e., strategies that simultaneously protect against unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases [STDs]) and how relationship factors influence their use of DP methods.
We conducted 10 focus groups with African American women (n=51) aged 15–24 years in Atlanta, Georgia, to identify barriers to and facilitators of their DP use. Focus group participants also completed a brief self-administered questionnaire that assessed demographics and sexual behaviors. We analyzed focus group data by theme: relationships, planning for sex, pregnancy intentions, STD worries, the trade-off between pregnancy and STDs, attitudes toward condoms and contraceptives, and understanding of DP.
From the questionnaire, 51% of participants reported that an STD would be the “worst thing that could happen,” and 26% reported that being pregnant would be “terrible.” Focus group data suggested that most participants understood what DP was but thought it was not always feasible. Relationship factors (e.g., trust, intimacy, length of relationship, and centrality) affected pregnancy intentions, STD concerns, and use of DP. Social influences (e.g., parents) and pregnancy and STD history also affected attitudes about pregnancy, STDs, and relationships.
Although participants identified risks associated with sex, a complex web of social and relationship factors influenced the extent to which they engaged in protective behavior. The extent to which relationship factors influence DP may reflect developmental tasks of adolescence and should be considered in any program promoting sexual health among young African American women.
PMCID: PMC3562744  PMID: 23450883
20.  An Evaluation of California’s Adolescent Sibling Pregnancy Prevention Program 
The siblings of adolescents who have been pregnant or are parents have disproportionately high rates of teenage pregnancies and births. California’s Adolescent Sibling Pregnancy Prevention Program is targeted at these high-risk youths.
An evaluation of the program was conducted in 1997–1999 with 1,176 predominantly Hispanic 11–17-year-olds who had at least one sibling who was an adolescent parent or had been pregnant—731 youths who were program clients and 445 youths who received no systematic services. All evaluation participants completed an interview and questionnaire at enrollment and again nine months later.
Female program clients had a significantly lower pregnancy rate than comparison females over the evaluation period (4% vs. 7%), as well as a lower rate of sexual initiation (7% vs. 16%). They also significantly decreased their frequency of school truancy, whereas this outcome increased among comparison females; program females had significantly more definite intentions of remaining abstinent at posttest than comparison females. Consistency of contraceptive use increased over time among males in the program and decreased among comparison males. Delivery of group services was correlated with delayed onset of intercourse among males, and the receipt of services related to psychosocial skills was correlated with greater contraceptive use at last sex among all sexually experienced youth.
This new program, which serves a population known to be at very high risk for early pregnancy, appears to be effective at reducing rates of pregnancy and improving several pregnancy-related risk behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3791863  PMID: 12729135
21.  Pregnancy Intention and Use of Contraception Among Hispanic Women in the United States: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006–2010 
Journal of Women's Health  2013;22(10):862-870.
Both unintended and adolescent childbearing disproportionately impact the Hispanic population of the United States.
We used the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to provide the most recent, nationally representative description of pregnancy, childbearing, and contraception for Hispanic females aged 15–44. We determined baseline fertility data for self-identified Hispanic female respondents. Among those reporting a pregnancy history, we calculated the proportion of pregnancies identified as unintended and their association with sociodemographic variables. We also assessed outcomes and estimates of relative risk for unintended pregnancy. Finally, we examined contraceptive use prior to self-reported unintended pregnancies.
Approximately 70% of Hispanic women reported ever being pregnant, including 18% of teenagers. Over half (51%) of those pregnancies were unintended, including 81% among teenagers. The adjusted risk of unintended pregnancy was highest in women 15 to 19 years old and those with three or more pregnancies (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.44–1.88 and IRR 1.77, 95% CI: 1.53–2.06, respectively). Half of unintended pregnancies were preceded by no contraception. The most common reason for unintended pregnancy preceded by contraception was “improper use” (45%) and among pregnancies without use, the most common response (37%) was “I did not think I could get pregnant.”
There is a high frequency of unintended pregnancy and lack of contraceptive use among Hispanic women. These findings highlight the need for improved reproductive education and contraceptive counseling in this population.
PMCID: PMC3787323  PMID: 24004031
22.  Pregnancy Intent Among a Sample of Recently Diagnosed HIV-Positive Women and Men Practicing Unprotected Sex in Cape Town, South Africa 
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for HIV-positive women and men often neglect their fertility desires. We examined factors associated with pregnancy intent among recently diagnosed HIV-positive women (N = 106) and men (N = 91) who reported inconsistent condom use and were enrolled in an SRH intervention conducted in public sector HIV care clinics in Cape Town.
Participants were recruited when receiving their first CD4+ results at the clinic. All reported unprotected sex in the previous 3 months. Logistic regression identified predictors of pregnancy intent for the total sample and by gender.
About three fifths of men and one fifth of women reported intent to conceive in the next 6 months. In the full-sample multiple regression analysis, men [adjusted odds ratio (AOR = 6.62)] and those whose main partner shared intent to conceive (AOR = 3.80) had significantly higher odds of pregnancy intent; those with more years of education (AOR = 0.81) and more biological children (AOR = 0.62) had lower odds of intending pregnancy. In gender-specific analyses, partner sharing pregnancy intent was positively associated with intent among both men (AOR = 3.53) and women (AOR = 13.24). Among men, odds were lower among those having more biological children (AOR = 0.71) and those unemployed (AOR = 0.30). Among women, relying on hormonal contraception was negatively associated with intent (AOR = 0.08), and main partner knowing her HIV status (AOR = 5.80) was positively associated with intent to conceive.
Findings underscore the importance of providing integrated SRH services, and we discuss implications for clinical practice and care.
PMCID: PMC4251915  PMID: 25436819
condoms; fertility intent; childbearing; HIV+ women and men; South Africa
23.  Prevalence and determinants of unintended pregnancy among women in Nairobi, Kenya 
The prevalence of unintended pregnancy in Kenya continues to be high. The 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) showed that nearly 50% of unmarried women aged 15–19 and 45% of the married women reported their current pregnancies as mistimed or unwanted. The 2008–09 KDHS showed that 43% of married women in Kenya reported their current pregnancies were unintended. Unintended pregnancy is one of the most critical factors contributing to schoolgirl drop out in Kenya. Up to 13,000 Kenyan girls drop out of school every year as a result of unintended pregnancy. Unsafe pregnancy termination contributes immensely to maternal mortality which currently estimated at 488 deaths per 100 000 live births. In Kenya, the determinants of prevalence and determinants of unintended pregnancy among women in diverse social and economic situations, particularly in urban areas, are poorly understood due to lack of data. This paper addresses the prevalence and the determinants of unintended pregnancy among women in slum and non-slum settlements of Nairobi.
This study used the data that was collected among a random sample of 1262 slum and non-slum women aged 15–49 years in Nairobi. The data was analyzed using simple percentages and logistic regression.
The study found that 24 percent of all the women had unintended pregnancy. The prevalence of unintended pregnancy was 21 per cent among women in slum settlements compared to 27 per cent among those in non-slum settlements. Marital status, employment status, ethnicity and type of settlement were significantly associated with unintended pregnancy. Logistic analysis results indicate that age, marital status and type of settlement had statistically significantly effects on unintended pregnancy. Young women aged 15–19 were significantly more likely than older women to experience unintended pregnancy. Similarly, unmarried women showed elevated risk for unintended pregnancy than ever-married women. Women in non-slum settlements were significantly more likely to experience unintended pregnancy than their counterparts in slum settlements.
The determinants of unintended pregnancy differed between women in each type of settlement. Among slum women, age, parity and marital status each had significant net effect on unintended pregnancy. But for non-slum women, it was marital status and ethnicity that had significant net effects.
The study found a high prevalence of unintended pregnancy among the study population and indicated that young and unmarried women, irrespective of their educational attainment and household wealth status, have a higher likelihood of experiencing unintended pregnancy. Except for the results on educational attainments and household wealth, these results compared well with the results reported in the literature.
The results indicate the need for effective programs and strategies to increase access to contraceptive services and related education, information and communication among the study population, particularly among the young and unmarried women. Increased access to family planning services is key to reducing unintended pregnancy among the study population. This calls for concerted efforts by all the stakeholders to improve access to family planning services among the study population. Increased access should be accompanied with improvement in the quality of care and availability of information about effective utilization of family planning methods.
PMCID: PMC3607892  PMID: 23510090
Unintended pregnancy; Determinants; Slum; Non-slum settlements; Urban; Nairobi; Kenya
24.  Vaginal Microbicide Preferences Among Midwestern Urban Adolescent Women 
The purpose of this study was to assess adolescent women’s preferences for specific microbicide characteristics including: pregnancy prevention, timing of application, potential for side effects, and whether it targeted Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Potential differences in microbicide preferences by adolescent age group and behavioral patterns, including engaging in sexual intercourse and use of hormonal contraception, were examined, as it was hypothesized that as adolescents progress into adulthood and gain sexual experience their preferences in microbicide characteristics may shift.
Adolescent and young women (N = 405, 56.0% African American; 24.0% Euro-American) between the ages of 14 and 20 (M = 17.0, SD = 1.8) were recruited from urban community-based clinics. Video-Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviews (VACASI) were conducted with the young women during which they were asked about their preferences regarding the characteristics of hypothetical vaginal microbicides. Conjoint analysis was utilized to determine adolescent women’s relative preferences for each microbicide characteristic and intent-to-purchase microbicides based upon a combination of the selected properties.
Overall, the results suggest adolescent and young women had an ordered preference for a microbicide with (1) no side effects, (2) pregnancy prevention, (3) post-coital application, and (4) protection against HIV. Age and behavioral group conjoint analyses resulted in the same pattern of preferences as those reported for the entire group. However, women having sex and not using hormonal contraception had a stronger preference for post-coital application.
The findings suggest that young women’s ratings of microbicides were sensitive to characteristics such as side effects, pregnancy prevention, and timing of application. The conjoint analysis approach is useful in understanding microbicide preferences and should be utilized with other populations to assess preferences for specific microbicide characteristics.
PMCID: PMC2593640  PMID: 18809132
Microbicides; Adolescent women; Sexuality; Conjoint analysis
25.  Pregnancy attitudes, contraceptive service utilization, and other factors associated with Los Angeles homeless youths’ use of effective contraception and withdrawal 
Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology  2013;26(6):10.1016/j.jpag.2013.06.007.
Study Objective
This study aims to understand the associations of contraceptive service utilization (i.e., accessing condoms or birth control), pregnancy attitudes, and lifetime pregnancy history among male and female homeless youth in relation to use of effective contraception and withdrawal.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Between October 2011 and February 2012, homeless youth (14–27 years old) from two drop-in centers in Los Angeles (N=380) were recruited and completed a questionnaire. The data in this paper are restricted to those who reported vaginal sex at last sex (N=283).
Main Outcome Measures
Analyses examined history of foster care, sexual abuse, exchange sex, pregnancy, lifetime homelessness duration, current living situation, contraceptive service utilization, and pregnancy attitudes in predicting use of effective contraception and withdrawal at last sex.
Over 62% of females and 43% of males report having ever been pregnant or impregnating someone. There are no gender-based differences in pregnancy attitudes; 21% agree they would like to become pregnant within the year. Additionally, there are no gender-based differences in reported contraceptive use at last vaginal sex. In the multivariable model, high school education, contraceptive service utilization (RRR: 4.0), and anti-pregnancy attitudes (RRR: 1.3) are significant positive predictors of using effective contraception; anti-pregnancy attitudes (RRR:1.2) and gender (RRR: 0.3) are significantly associated with using withdrawal.
Health professionals should acknowledge that some homeless youth desire pregnancy; for those that do not, access to effective contraception is important. Programs must continue to promote pregnancy prevention, and include discussions of healthy pregnancy habits for pregnancy-desiring youth.
PMCID: PMC3834348  PMID: 24238265
homeless youth; pregnancy; attitudes toward pregnancy; contraception; condoms; sexual health

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