An unintended pregnancy is a pregnancy that is reported to have been either unwanted (that is, the pregnancy occurred when no children, or no more children, were desired) or mistimed (that is, the pregnancy occurred earlier than desired). Unintended pregnancy is a core concept that is used to better understand the fertility of populations and the unmet need for contraception (birth control) and family planning. Unintended pregnancy mainly results from not using contraception, or inconsistent or incorrect use of effective contraceptive methods.
Unintended pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of problems for the mom and baby. If a pregnancy is not planned before conception, a woman may not be in optimal health for childbearing. For example, women with an unintended pregnancy could delay prenatal care that may affect the health of the baby. Therefore, it is important for all women of reproductive age to adopt healthy behaviors such as:
- Taking folic acid.
- Maintaining a healthy diet and weight.
- Being physically active regularly.
- Quitting tobacco use.
- Abstaining from alcohol and drugs.
- Using condoms, when a child is NOT desired
Talk to your health care provider about screening and proper management of chronic diseases.
Visit your health care provider at the recommended scheduled time periods for your age and discuss if or when you are considering becoming pregnant.