Contraceptive Continuation and Pregnancy Intendedness: Evidence from DHS Calendar Data
Sian Curtis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Emily Evens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This paper seeks to expand evidence on the relationship between the discontinuation of contraceptive use, pregnancy intentions and unmet need for contraception. Discontinuation is a common event. The reported reasons for discontinuation suggest that the majority of women who discontinue are likely to be exposed to the risk of an unintended pregnancy. However, no studies have examined whether women report pregnancies following discontinuation as unintended and few have examined the contribution of discontinuation to unintended pregnancy and unmet need. This study examines how women describe the intendedness of pregnancies that follow discontinuation and the extent to which discontinuation contributes to unintended pregnancy and unmet need for contraception. Data for this study come from six Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. Results indicate that many women who discontinue for reasons other than the intention to get pregnant report their pregnancies as unintended.