Unintended pregnancy, a public health challenge

Unintended pregnancies result from unprotected sex where no children, or no more children are desired.

It has been estimated that 45% of pregnancies in the UK are unintended.1

This figure may seem surprising. However, during most of a woman’s reproductive life she is likely to be trying to avoid pregnancy. Therefore the period during which a pregnancy would be considered unintended is much longer than the period during which she would be actively trying to become pregnant.

45% of unintended pregnancies end via abortion, 17% end in birth and about one third are lost naturally.1

1. Singh S et al. Stud Fam Plann 2010; 41: 241-50.