Prevalence and Determinants of Unintended Pregnancies in Malawi

Martin E Palamuleni, Ayo S Adebowale


Available statistics indicate high levels of unintended pregnancies in Africa. This study examines the prevalence and determinants of unintended pregnancies in Malawi based on 2,144 pregnant women extracted from the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey. Data were analyzed using univariate, bivariate and multinomial logistic regression models. Nearly 43% of the pregnancies were unintended of which 25% were mistimed. Multivariate analysis indicated that mistimed pregnancies are significantly influenced by the age of the respondent, fertility preference and number of children ever born. Among the variables that significantly increased the likelihood of unwanted pregnancies are age of respondent, wealth status, fertility preference, and region of residence even though potential confounding factors were used as control. The study recommends the strengthening of family planning services in order to reduce the level of unintended pregnancies. Focus should be on couples in Central Region and those having large number of children


Unintended pregnancy; Demographic and Health Survey; prevalence; determinants; Malawi

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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