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How Unintended Pregnancy Happens

Becoming pregnant and raising a child is a huge responsibility. When this responsibility is put onto someone it is called an unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancies are a result of many different factors. Lack of contraceptive use, access to contraceptives, lack of sexual education, and inability to have control over a woman’s own body are all factors that can cause an unintended pregnancy.

            The most common cause for women having unwanted pregnancies is lack of knowledge about contraceptive use. The lack of knowledge of contraceptive use results from how much schooling a woman receives. The information a woman receives about contraceptives may also be incorrect. A woman may incorrectly believe that an IUD can cause abortions every month or that the pill can cause infertility. The false information about contraceptives can contribute to women not using contraceptives. Lack of knowledge about contraceptive use is prevalent when women use contraceptives incorrectly. Women may be unaware of how to use a contraceptive properly which results in these women inadvertently exposing themselves to pregnancy. The accuracy of information about contraceptives is affected by education level. Women in less developed countries may not be able to receive an adequate education. “The basic knowledge of reproductive physiology among adolescents in some less developed countries may be so poor that they are unaware that girls are able to become pregnant the first time they have sexual intercourse.” Incorrect information about contraceptives can result from lack of education, incorrect information, and incorrect use of contraceptives.

Lack of access to contraceptives is another cause of unintended pregnancy. The unmet need of women who do not want to get pregnant at the time and the inadequacy of contraceptives available to these women can be a cause of unwanted pregnancy. When obtaining contraceptives, the lack of resources needed to receive them can be an obstacle for women who do not want to be pregnant. A partner or family may also be opposed to the idea of a woman taking contraceptives and this will create an added pressure for a woman to result to keep her pregnancy. Another factor in lack of access to contraceptives is a cultural pressure to high fertility and cultural stigmas against contraceptives. In some countries, the only accessible option for contraceptives is abortion. Improving the access of contraceptives to women would lower the rat of abortions. Abortions are a result of the lack of ability to receive contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Another cause of unwanted pregnancy is from the failure of contraceptive methods. When a woman uses a contraceptive, it does not guarantee that a women will not become pregnant. A woman can still have an unwanted pregnancy while using contraceptives because contraceptives are not a faultless method. Contraceptive methods can fail because the are used incorrectly. When a woman uses a contraceptive pill and forgets to take it or delay the use of the pill because they are not frequently engaging in sexual intercourse. The failure use of the pill can greatly increase if the pill is stopped even for just a few days. The infrequent use of the contraceptive birth control pill can result in a pregnancy.

When a woman has a lack of control of her own body in sexual relationships it can result in unintended and unwanted pregnancy. Women often times can not have control over when they have sexual intercourse. Women can be put into a situation where they unexpectedly have sexual intercourse and do not have the time or ability to protect themselves. Sex against a women’s will is a common occurrence and can result in women becoming pregnant against their own wishes. Coercion is a common way a woman be pressured into having sexual relations for something. Someone may want sexual intercourse from a woman in exchange for something that a woman may want or need. “In a study carried out in one of the most developed regions of Brazil, 30% of the women interviewed reported having had sex physically imposed on them or having been coerced into sex, and an additional 32% reported having had sex against their will because they felt obliged to comply with their partner’s desire.” The study shows that there are many ways a woman can be pressured into having sex without the ability to receive protection against an unwanted pregnancy. When a woman has a lack of control over her body or is being forced into have sexual intercourse to result in someone’s satisfaction, these situations can create a problem for a woman who does not want to become pregnant. Pressuring a woman into a situation where she does not have control over her own body can result in her becoming pregnant against her own will.

References

“Access to Contraception.” ACOG, https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2015/01/access-to-contraception.

“Clinicalkey.” ClinicalKey, https://www.clinicalkey.com/#!/content/playContent/1-s2.0-S1521693410000180?scrollTo=%23hl0000072.

Haddad, Lisa B, and Nawal M Nour. “Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality.” Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, MedReviews, LLC, 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/.

“Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives.” Guttmacher Institute, 10 Nov. 2021, https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/insurance-coverage-contraceptives#.

Lawrence B. Finer Lori F. Frohwirth, et al. “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” Guttmacher Institute, 3 Feb. 2020, https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives.

“Preventing Unsafe Abortion.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 28 Nov. 2014, https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/unsafe_abortion/hrpwork/en/.

“Preventing Unsafe Abortion.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preventing-unsafe-abortion.

Seeberger Director, Colin, et al. “The Right Way to Reduce Abortion.” Center for American Progress, 4 Feb. 2021, https://www.americanprogress.org/article/the-right-way-to-reduce-abortion/.

“Unintended Pregnancy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 June 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/unintendedpregnancy/index.htm.

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