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Iran J Public Health. 2017 Jul;46(7):973-981.

Level and Factors Related to Unintended Pregnancy with a Brief Review of New Population Policies in Iran.

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Dept. of Sociology and Social Planning, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.



High rate of unintended pregnancies in Iran is one of problems in family planning. The main goal of this study was to determine the rate of unintended pregnancies and to examine factors among married women in Shiraz City, Iran. It also discusses the possible effects of new population policies on the rate of unintended pregnancy.


In this quantitative and survey study, data were collected by researcher-made questionnaire with interviewer from 400 pregnant women in Shiraz City referred to public and private health centers for prenatal care in 2013. Data were analyzed by SPSS both descriptively and analytically.


Overall, 17% of total pregnancies were unintended. The highest rate occurred among couples whose level of education was under diploma. In addition, women above 39 yr old experienced a higher rate of unintended pregnancy. The most popular methods were pills, withdrawal, and condom. The highest rate of unintended pregnancy was related to withdrawal. Knowledge about modern contraceptives particularly emergency contraceptives was low. Age, residence place, use of traditional contraception methods, knowledge about contraceptives, fear of side effects and couple agreement on contraception method were the main predictors of unintended pregnancy.


There is still unmet need in family planning. The main predictors of unintended pregnancies are high prevalence of traditional contraception methods and insufficient knowledge about modern contraception methods. Policymakers should pay more attention to these issues. Furthermore, although Iranian policy makers are worried about low fertility, they need to be aware that new population policy through restriction of access to family planning services is effective, but also may exacerbate the problem by leading to a higher chance of unintended pregnancy.


Contraceptive usage; Emergency contraception; Iran; Unwanted pregnancy


Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interests The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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