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Public Health. 2013 Jan;127(1):58-64. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2012.08.011. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Health status of women with intended and unintended pregnancies.

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Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Bam University of Medical Science, Bam, Iran.



Unintended pregnancy may have negative impacts on maternal health. However, no comprehensive studies have been undertaken on the health of women with intended and unintended pregnancies. This study aimed to compare the health status of women with intended and unintended pregnancies in Iran.


Comparative study.


Two hundred women were included in this study: of these, 100 had intended pregnancies and 100 had unintended pregnancies. The participants were recruited using a multi-stage sampling method from the health centres of Kerman, Iran in 2010. The tools for data collection included: a questionnaire to assess demographic characteristics and fertility history; the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire to assess general physical and mental health status; and a questionnaire to assess pregnancy-related health status. Validity and reliability of the questionnaires were assessed before use.


In comparison with women with intended pregnancies, women with unintended pregnancies had lower scores for physical and mental health status; less prenatal care; lower scores for self-care behaviours such as use of supplements, vaccination and nutrition; lower scores for personal health; and higher rates of risky behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy (P < 0.05).


Unintended pregnancy is a threat to the physical and mental health of women. As unintended pregnancy is associated with lower self-care behaviours and higher rates of risky behaviours during pregnancy, special care and counselling are recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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