Objectives: Spontaneous abortion affects more than one million US women each year, yet little is known about the intendedness of these pregnancies. We examined prevalence and correlates of unintended and unwanted pregnancies ending in spontaneous abortion, using nationally representative data.
Methods: We used cross-sectional data from a sample of US women aged 15–44 with a history of pregnancy ending in spontaneous abortion, who participated in the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations of demographic and pregnancy characteristics with unintended and unwanted pregnancy.
Results: Among 1365 pregnancies ending in spontaneous abortion, 44.8% were unintended (unwanted or occurring sooner than desired). Younger women were more likely to report unintended pregnancies than women aged 30 or older, with the highest odds among women aged 19 or younger [adjusted odds ratio (aOR),12.6; 95% CI, 6.0–26.4]. Unintended pregnancy was significantly more likely among unmarried than among married women (never married: aOR, 5.0; 95% CI, 2.9–8.7; previously married: aOR, 4.5; 95% CI, 2.2–9.2). Other factors associated with unintended pregnancy were interpregnancy interval of 12 months or less compared with an interval of more than 12 months (aOR,1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–2.4) and gravidity of four or more compared with gravidity of one (aOR, 2.5; 95% CI,1.3–5.1). In a secondary analysis examining unwanted pregnancies alone (15.5% of pregnancies in our sample), similar associations were found, with the exception of short interpregnancy interval. Race/Ethnicity was not associated with either unintended or unwanted pregnancy.
Conclusions: A substantial proportion of pregnancies that end in spontaneous abortion are unintended or unwanted. Further research is needed to better understand the reproductive goals of women experiencing spontaneous abortion.
© 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.