Antecedents and maternal health outcomes of unintended pregnancy: A systematic review
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© 2017 Ethiopian Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Background: While concerns about adverse health outcomes of unintended pregnancies for the mother have been expressed, there has only been limited research on the outcomes of unintended pregnancies. This review provides an overview of antecedents and maternal health outcomes of unintended pregnancies (UIPs) carried to term live birth. Methods: The authors extracted published and unpublished data on current evidence of U1P using the search engines MEDLINE, PubMed and EM BASE and presented the findings in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and M eta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Results: The systematic review included 64 studies with a mean quality score of 4.94 (SD 0.72). It involved 671,046 reproductive age women who had given birth to a single child. Socio-demographic and reproductive characteristics were antecedents for and/or consequences of UIPs. Unintended pregnancies were associated with reduced use of prenatal healthcare services, illicit drug use, intimate partner violence, and adverse maternal mental and physical health. Conclusions: Antecedents of an UIP may include socio-demographic and reproductive characteristics of women, as well as family and socio-cultural characteristics of a society. Findings on adverse outcomes of UIPs were mixed, but are generally suggestive of negative outcomes. Longitudinal multi-wave studies with appropriate comparison groups are needed to fill the gaps and identify research and policy alternatives.
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