Perceived likelihood of becoming pregnant and contraceptive use: Findings from population-based surveys in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Rajasthan, India

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Abstract

Objective: Advancing reproductive autonomy requires targeted strategies and interventions that address barriers to contraceptive use. The primary objective of this study is to investigate whether perceptions of low pregnancy likelihood are associated with lower likelihood of using contraception among presumably fecund, sexually active women. Study design: We used population-based survey data of reproductive age women at risk of pregnancy collected in 2018 from Côte d'Ivoire (N = 1447), Nigeria (N = 4110), and Rajasthan, India (N = 1994). To assess one's perceived biological likelihood of pregnancy, we used 2 measures: likelihood following a single act of sex without contraception and likelihood following 1 year of regular sex without contraception. Response options included: definitely yes, maybe yes, maybe no, definitely no, and do not know. We conducted multivariable logistic regression to assess the relationship between each perception measure with odds of contraceptive use separately by country. Results: Perceived chance of definitely or maybe becoming pregnant after one act of sex without contraception ranged from 54.0% to 55.0% in Nigeria and Rajasthan to 80.0% in Côte d'Ivoire, while it was higher for regular sex without contraception (76.0%–85.1%). Multivariable results indicate that perceptions of pregnancy likelihood were associated with contraceptive use among presumably fecund women, with a stronger relationship observed in relation to cumulative likelihood (odds ratio 0.1–0.6) than likelihood after one act (odds ratio 0.4–0.8) and a dose-response pattern by strength of perceived chance. Conclusions: Results indicate that women's use of contraception in low-resource settings is associated with their perceived likelihood of becoming pregnant after unprotected sex. Implications: Findings suggest that understanding women's perceived likelihood of pregnancy may aid in the development of interventions to help women achieve their reproductive goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalContraception
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Contraceptive use
  • India
  • Low-resource settings
  • Perceived pregnancy risk
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Survey research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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