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Health Indicator Report of Births from Unintended Pregnancies

In the United States, unintended pregnancy is a major public health problem. Unintended pregnancy is a general term that includes pregnancies a woman reports were either mistimed or unwanted at the time of conception. Women with unintended pregnancies are less likely to seek early prenatal care or receive adequate prenatal care, they are more likely to smoke or drink during pregnancy, and are less likely to initiate or maintain breastfeeding.

Women Who Reported Their Most Recent Pregnancy Was Unintended by Year, Utah, 1999-2017


Question: "Thinking back to just before you got pregnant, how did you feel about becoming pregnant?" (check one answer). Answer Options: I wanted to be pregnant sooner, I wanted to be pregnant later, I wanted to be pregnant then, I didn't want to be pregnant then or at any time in the future, or I wasn't sure what I wanted. Women who wanted to be pregnant later or didn't want to be pregnant were categorized as having an unintended pregnancy.   [[br]] [[br]]Beginning in 2012, the PRAMS survey added the response "I wasn't sure what I wanted". The addition of this response may have diluted the percentage of responses in the other categories, so data for 2012 and later is not comparable to previous years.

Data Source

Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

A stratified random sampling approach is used in selecting women 2-4 months postpartum to participate in PRAMS. The data are weighted by the CDC to represent the birth population for that year, adjusted for sampling probabilities, nonresponse, and noncoverage. Each strata must achieve a weighted response rate of 55% or it is not considered representative of that population. See the PRAMS website at [] for more detailed information on PRAMS and its methodology.


Percentage of Utah women with live births who reported their most recent pregnancy was unintended.


Number of unintended births among Utah women.


Number of Utah women with a live birth.

Other Objectives

Utah's 42 Community Health Indicators Similar to HP2020 Objective FP-1: Increase the proportion of PREGNANCIES that ARE intended. Similar to HP2020 Developmental Objective MICH-16.6 (Developmental) Increase the proportion of women delivering a live birth who used contraception to plan pregnancy.

How Are We Doing?

During the years 2016 and 2017, 21.3% of women reported that their birth resulted from an unintended pregnancy. Contraceptive failure rates vary between methods used but are very low when used correctly. This high rate of contraceptive failure signals the need to increase education, services, and coverage of methods of long-acting reversible contraception that may be less prone to human error.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Current national PRAMS data are not available.

What Is Being Done?

In order to reduce unplanned pregnancies, public health efforts may include: __Health Education__ - increase knowledge of human reproduction, conception, and proper use of available contraceptive methods; and promote optimal spacing of pregnancies for healthy outcomes. __Reproductive Health Services__ - increase dialogue between health care providers and women regarding reproductive health and family planning options. __Access to Health Care__ - improve insurance coverage for family planning services. As of August 1, 2012, non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage for preventive women's health care including contraception and counseling without cost sharing.

Evidence-based Practices

Various studies have indicated that the use of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) devices such as Implants and Intrauterine Devices (IUD) effectively lower the incidence of unplanned pregnancy in population and clinic settings. Additionally a 2012 study conducted by Piepert et al. looked at the impact of providing free LARC and found that increased access to contraception effectively reduced unintended pregnancy.

Available Services

Preconception and pregnancy spacing education is available at [] Follow Power Your Life on these social media platforms[[br]] Facebook: [][[br]] Instagram: [][[br]] Pinterest: []
Page Content Updated On 10/21/2019, Published on 11/06/2019
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 23 November 2020 18:29:40 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 6 Nov 2019 16:34:26 MST