An Unexpected Bun in the Oven? An Exploratory Research of Unplanned Pregnancies

Sarah Dreesen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Even though there are plenty of means women can use to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, a large percentage of pregnancies today are unplanned. Since there was no data available on this subject for Belgium, a study was conducted. This study investigates the socio-economic, demographic and relational characteristics of women related to having unplanned pregnancies. The data collection is carried out in Hasselt, Belgium. A standardized questionnaire is used, in which pregnancy planning is measured using the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy, an internationally validated scale. 197 responses are collected from pregnant or recently pregnant women. The main conclusion of this research is that it is mostly women with a weak societal position who face an unplanned pregnancy. Since the consequences of unplanned pregnancies for these women are more serious than for women with a strong position in society, future research on the causes of this kind of pregnancy is recommended.

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Presented in Session 69: Methodological and Substantive Issues in Studies of Unwanted Fertility