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The cost of unintended pregnancy in the United States

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Despite the many contraceptive options available in the United States, nearly half (49%) of the 6.4 million pregnancies each year are unintended; these represent a significant cost to the health care system.

      Methods

      The total number of unintended pregnancies and their outcomes were obtained from the literature. Direct medical costs were estimated for each unintended pregnancy outcome.

      Results

      The direct medical costs of unintended pregnancies were US$5 billion in 2002. Direct medical cost savings due to contraceptive use were US$19 billion.

      Discussion

      Unintended pregnancies are a costly problem in the United States. Contraceptive use can reduce direct and indirect costs; hence, payers may realize cost savings by providing coverage of contraceptive products.

      Keywords

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