142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Shifting intentions: A prospective study of U.S. women's pregnancy intentions over a 12-month time period

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Rachel Jones, PhD , Research Division, Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Laura Lindberg, Ph D , Research Division, Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Jennifer J. Frost, DrPH , Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
To date there have been no national, prospective studies of pregnancy intentions among U.S. women. We obtained three panels of data from 2,024 non-pregnant women aged 18-39 over a 12-month time period (December 2013-December 2014). At any given point in time, 5-8% of women were trying to get pregnant, but only 3% indicated this consistently over the one-year time period. Similarly, 44%-48% expected to try to get pregnant in the future, but only 34% did so consistently. Most variably, 24%-28% of the women indicated they were unsure if they wanted to have (more) children, but only 10% were consistently ambivalent. Forty percent of the sample reported fluctuating childbearing intentions over the 12 month period, though this figure dropped to 26% (N=479) when women who switched from “future” orientation to “ambivalent” orientation (and vice versa) were grouped together. Among the 479 women with fluctuating pregnancy intentions, the most common trajectory was to go from ambivalence to wanting no (more) kids and the second most common pattern was to shift from expecting to have children in the future to actively trying to have children. Women who consistently indicated “no more kids” were the most consistent contraceptive users over the three month time period (62%), while those with fluctuating intentions were least likely to use consistently (41%) (apart from women consistently trying to get pregnant, 0%). Pregnancy intentions, which are presumably a guiding motivation for use of contraception, change for a substantial minority of women over a relatively short time period.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how women's pregnancy intentions change over a 12-month time period.

Keyword(s): Family Planning, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I have been conducting research on reproductive health issues for 14 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.