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Intendedness of pregnancies and preconception contraceptive use in women of Swedish and non-European origins seeking emergency care in early pregnancy

Abstract

Introduction Unintended pregnancies in Europe have been estimated to constitute 43% of all pregnancies, with the proportion in Sweden being unknown. In striving for equitable healthcare, increased knowledge about unintended pregnancies among women born outside Europe is needed. We aimed to estimate the proportion of unintended pregnancies in women born in Sweden compared with women born outside Europe in an unselected population seeking gynaecological emergency care in early pregnancy. Our secondary aim was to compare contraceptive use at the time of conception in unplanned pregnancies between women born in Sweden and women born outside Europe.

Methods Pregnant women seeking gynaecological emergency care in early pregnancy at a tertiary hospital were asked to fill out a questionnaire in their native language. The questionnaire contained questions from the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy (LMUP) and questions regarding sociodemographic data, gynaecological health and previous contraception.

Results Of 180 pregnancies, 66 were unintended (36.7%) according to the LMUP. Among patients born in Sweden, 49/129 (38.0%) of the pregnancies were unintended compared with 17/51 (33.3%) among patients born outside Europe (p=0.56). 86% of participants with unintended pregnancy did not use any form of contraception during the month of conception, with no difference between women born in Sweden and those born outside Europe.

Conclusions Among women seeking gynaecological emergency care in early pregnancy, unintended pregnancies are common. Women with unintended pregnancies had low use of preconception contraceptives, which highlights a need for further interventions aimed at avoiding unintended pregnancies.

  • contraception behavior
  • reproductive health
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • counseling

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Data will be made available upon reasonable request.

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