Secondary Unwanted Pregnancy: Evidence from Urban Kenya

Beverlyne Kassim, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Chimaraoke O. Izugbara, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

In the literature, pregnancies are defined as unwanted when they occur at a time women become pregnant without wanting to. This paper describes findings of a qualitative study of experiences of unwanted pregnancy among a sample of Kenyan women which showed that some of the pregnancies which the women reported as unwanted were wanted at conception. Going by the women’s narratives, secondary unwanted pregnancies (as we choose to characterize this type of unwanted pregnancy) were triggered by several life-changing events surrounding women and their pregnancies, including the death of partners at a time a woman was pregnant; the discovery that a partner was untrustworthy; the loss of a job opportunity; and the detection of a health situation during the period of pregnancy. While some of these pregnancies were carried to term, others were reportedly lost or aborted. Studies on unwanted pregnancies need to differentiate between primary and secondary unwanted pregnancies.

Presented in Poster Session 1