Chapter 10 – Pregnancy Options

Unintended pregnancy

There are many terms used to describe a pregnancy that may not have been intended or planned, including ‘unintended pregnancy’, ‘unplanned pregnancy’, ‘unexpected pregnancy’ and ‘mistimed pregnancy’.

Some women and their partner will carefully ‘plan’ a pregnancy, checking immunisation status, taking preconception supplements and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (e.g. decreasing alcohol consumption, ceasing smoking and other drugs, and maintaining a healthy weight). These are truly ‘planned pregnancies’. However, many pregnancies are intended but not planned.

The term ‘unintended pregnancy’ better reflects the situation where a pregnancy was neither planned nor intended. However it is important to note that many unintended pregnancies continue to become a wanted pregnancy.

A proportion of women are faced with a ‘crisis’ pregnancy. This has been defined as ‘a pregnancy which is neither planned nor desired by the woman concerned, and which represents a personal crisis for her’.(1)

Unintended pregnancy has been associated with adverse maternal and infant health outcomes(2) and limits opportunities to participate in preconception health promotion.(3) Control over pregnancy intention is also an important means to minimise the need for abortion. An audit of 3,018 medical records of Victoria’s largest public pregnancy advisory service (PAS) showed that the primary ... Buy now