Measurement, Trends, and Predictors of Unintended Pregnancy: Bangladesh 1984-1999

Jessica D. Gipson, University of California, Los Angeles
Mian B. Hossain, Morgan State University
Michael Koenig, Johns Hopkins University

Bangladesh has experienced a rapid fertility decline in the past several decades, facilitated by proactive population policies, contraceptive provision, and broader societal shifts encouraging smaller families and contraceptive use to achieve these revised norms. We present 16 years of data from the Sample Registration System, a demographic surveillance system operated by the Maternal Child Health Extension Project in 6 study areas in Bangladesh. Using prospective fertility preferences and subsequent pregnancy information, we determined the level of intended versus unintended pregnancies, as well as those that were considered to be ‘Up to God/Allah’. Over the 16-year study period, unintended pregnancy levels varied from 22-38%, with lowest levels in the mid-1990s. Fatalistic responses declined substantially over the study period, from 25% in the mid-1980s to 1% in the mid-1990s. Further analyses will explore the determinants of unintended pregnancies and discuss the trends in unintended pregnancy over time and across the study areas.

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Presented in Session 124: Demography of Health and Mortality in Bangladesh and India