Beyond counting intended pregnancies among young women to understanding their associated factors in sub-Saharan Africa

Bain, Luchuo Engelbert, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Budu, Eugene, Okyere, Joshua, and Kongnyuy, Eugene (2022) Beyond counting intended pregnancies among young women to understanding their associated factors in sub-Saharan Africa. International Health, 14 (5). pp. 501-509.

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Background: In this article we report the prevalence and determinants of intended or wanted pregnancies among young women 15–24 y of age in selected sub-Saharan African countries.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used pooled data from current Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2019 in 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The sample size comprised 14 257 young women (15–24 y of age). Multivariable binary logistic regression models were used to present the results as adjusted odds ratios.

Results: The prevalence of intended pregnancies was 67.7%, with the highest and lowest prevalence in Gambia (89.9%) and Namibia (37.7%), respectively. Intended pregnancy was lower among young women who had knowledge of modern contraceptives, those with a secondary/higher education and those with four or more births. Lower odds of intended pregnancy were observed among young women in the richer wealth quintile and those who lived in southern Africa.

Conclusions: To reduce intended pregnancies in sub-Saharan African countries such as Gambia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, there is a need for government and non-governmental organisations to recalibrate current and past interventions such as investment in increasing formal education for women and poverty alleviation programmes, as well as augmenting job creation, including skill-building. These interventions have to be sensitive to the cultural realities of each setting, especially with regards to early marriages and womanhood.

Item ID: 74241
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-3405
Keywords: DHS, intended pregnancies, public health, sub-Saharan Africa, young women
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 09:06
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