Prevalence and Determinants of Unintended Pregnancies in Malawi

Martin E. Palamuleni, North-West University, South Africa
Ayo S. Adebowale, University of Ibadan
Mercy Palamuleni, Colgate University

Despite the success of family planning programs in Malawi, surveys indicate that a significant percentage of pregnancies are unintended. The objectives of this study are to determine the rate of unwanted pregnancies in Malawi and identify social, economic and demographic variables influencing unwanted pregnancies. The study used 2144 pregnant women from the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS). Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression models were used. The results indicate that 43% of the pregnancies were unintended of which 25% were mistimed and 28% were unwanted. The multivariate analysis indicated that mistimed pregnancies are significantly influenced by age, fertility preference, children ever born and living children. Unwanted pregancies were influenced by age, wealth status, fertility preference and region. We recommend the improvement of quality of family planning services in order to decrease the unintended pregnancies. The programs should target Central Region and women with large number of children.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior