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Women Birth. 2015 Jun;28(2):101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2015.01.003. Epub 2015 Jan 24.

Unintended pregnancy and intimate partner violence around pregnancy in a population-based study.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Spain. Electronic address:
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Jaen, Spain.
Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Spain.
Department of Social Anthropology, University of Granada, Spain.



Intimate partner violence (IPV) and unintended pregnancy are public health issues that can affect the health and well-being of women and their children. However, the relationship between IPV and women's ability to control their fertility has not been adequately explored.


To investigate the association between unintended pregnancy and emotional or physical violence perpetrated by partners around pregnancy.


A population-based study was undertaken, recruiting women (n=779) at the hospital obstetric departments and gathering social and family data. IPV was diagnosed by using the Index of Spouse Abuse (ISA). Data were gathered by trained midwives in 15 public hospitals in southern Spain and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed.


The pregnancy was reported to be unintended by 118 (15.1%) of the study population. Unintended pregnancy was significantly associated with: physical and/or emotional IPV around pregnancy, age, marital status, cohabitation, educational level, and employment status. After adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics, emotional IPV around pregnancy was significantly associated with an unintended pregnancy (AOR=2.5; 95% CI=1.5-4.3). Being in a non-committed relationship was a risk factor (AOR=3.5; 95% CI=1.8-6.1) and being in employment a protective factor (AOR=0.4; 95% CI=0.2-0.8) for an unintended pregnancy.


Women who report an unintended pregnancy may be experiencing emotional IPV. The risk of emotional IPV is higher if women reporting an unintended pregnancy are in a committed relationship, married, or in employment. A better understanding of the relationship between unintended pregnancy and violence can aid midwives about potential reproductive health risk factors associated with abuse.


Emotional abuse; Intimate partner violence; Mistiming pregnancy; Pregnancy; Unwanted pregnancy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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