Extent of Unintended Pregnancy and Coping Strategies among Young Couples in Nepal

Mahesh Puri, University of Southampton
Roger Ingham, University of Southampton
Zoe Matthews, University of Southampton

This paper describes research that has explored the problem of unintended pregnancy, and the strategies used for dealing with this among young couples in Nepal. The research involved 30 in-depth case histories together with a sample survey of 1500 couples aged between 15 and 24 years. The survey found that one in two young women had ever experienced an unintended pregnancy. The probability of this occurring varies according to socio-demographic characteristics of the couples. The main reasons for experiencing unintended pregnancies include individual and socio-cultural factors as well as aspects of health service provisions. Case histories revealed that couples use multiple strategies to deal with their unintended pregnancies. Multiple factors affect the decision making phase, making the process dynamic and situation specific. The findings suggests a need to scale up the family planning service delivery mechanisms, and to enhance women's decision making capacity regarding their reproductive rights and sexuality.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility Determinants, Family Planning, and Sexual Behavior