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Matern Child Health J. 2007 Jul;11(4):347-51. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Pregnancy intention and contraceptive use among adult women.

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  • 1Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.



We examined pregnancy intention measures and contraceptive use behaviors among reproductive-age women using data from two CDC-based surveillance systems.


We analyzed data for women aged 18-44 from 4 states that collected information on pregnancy and contraceptive use from both the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, n = 4201) and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS, n = 7761) in 2000. Standard definitions of intended and unintended pregnancy were used.


BRFSS data show that 4% (95% CI: 2.8-5.2) of the women were pregnant at the time of interview and that 57% (95% CI: 41.9-71.9) of these pregnancies were intended. Women who had been pregnant within the last 5 years but were not currently pregnant reported that 61% (95% CI: 55.9-65.3) of their most recent pregnancies had been intended. According to PRAMS, 58% (95% CI: 56.5-60.5) of women with live births had intended pregnancies. Contraceptive use varied across the surveys; 68% (95% CI: 65.7-70.7) of all non-pregnant women from BRFSS and 87% (95% CI: 85.1-87.9) of women with a recent live birth from PRAMS reported using contraceptives.


Although contraceptive use differed between the BRFSS and PRAMS, the patterns of pregnancy intention were similar for women who had a pregnancy within the past 5 years, those who recently delivered a live-born infant, and those who were currently pregnant. It appears that reporting of pregnancy intention is not affected by timing of assessment across the two surveys.

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