Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title DHS Analytical studies 22
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://gtrvidasmaternas.org/GTR/sites/default/files/AS22.pdf
This study investigates the impact of contraceptive failure on unintended births and induced abortions. The study analyzes contraceptive failure rates and simulates levels of unintended births and induced abortions that could be achieved if current family planning users adopted more effective contraceptive methods.
This report analyzes data from 20 recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted since 2002 that collected data on contraceptive failure in the DHS calendar and wantedness status of each resulting live birth: Armenia 2005, Azerbaijan 2006, Bangladesh 2004, Colombia 2010, Dominican Republic 2002, Egypt 2008, India 2005-06, Indonesia 2007, Jordan 2007, Kenya 2003, Malawi 2004, Moldova 2005, Morocco 2003-04, Peru 2004-08, Philippines 2003, Tanzania 2004-05, Turkey 2003, Ukraine 2007, Vietnam 2002, and Zimbabwe 2005-06. In six surveys (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam), data were additionally collected on whether each conception resulted in an induced abortion. Multiple-decrement life tables were used to calculate failure rates and simulate the impact of altering the contraceptive method mix in each country. On average across the 20 countries studied, 34 percent of all pregnancies in the four-year period of observation ended in either an unintended live birth or an induced abortion. These results from a wide range of low- and middle-income countries are similar to levels in high-income countries: half of pregnancies in the US, and one third of pregnancies in the UK and France, are unintended. Higher percentages of pregnancies ended in induced abortion in the six countries with induced abortion data (32 percent on average) than in the United States (20 percent).
The contribution of contraceptive failure to unintended births and induced abortions is substantial. On average, one of every three unintended births resulted from contraceptive failure. In four countries, more than half of unintended births were conceived while the women were using contraception. The impact of contraceptive failure on levels of induced abortion is even greater. More than half of all induced abortions in the six countries studied result from contraceptive failure.

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