High percentage of unplanned pregnancies

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September 24, 2021 8:54 am EDT

AMSTERDAM – A survey among women (16-44 years) in Belgium shows a high rate of unplanned pregnancy. As a global women’s health company, Organon aims to raise awareness and ignite a worldwide conversation about the staggering rates of unplanned pregnancy around the world and in Belgium.

“While we have seen a lot of progress in the area of reproductive health, the rates of unplanned pregnancy around the world continue to be high”, says Petra Willems, Managing Director Organon Benelux.  Worldwide, unplanned pregnancy impacts approximately 121 million women each year.10) A 2019 study reported that globally, more than 1 billion women have a need for family planning, but for 270 million of them, the need for modern methods of family planning is unmet.11)

An online survey conducted this month by Research Without Barriers (commissioned by Organon) among a thousand women in Belgium aged 16 to 44 shows that half have experienced an unplanned pregnancy while using contraception. Most of the women were under the age of 30 at the time.1) In the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the figures are much lower. The same survey among one thousand Dutch women between the ages of 16 and 44 shows that a quarter have had an unplanned pregnancy.4) In the United Kingdom this is 31 percent.7) Unplanned pregnancy can impact any woman anywhere, regardless of her social or economic background.

Major impact
An unplanned pregnancy can have a major impact on women’s lives. In Belgium, according to the survey, a quarter of women are happy with the unexpected pregnancy, but most women in the study indicate negative consequences.2) You can think of a relationship break-up, anxiety and stress or a feeling of failure towards family or parents. We also see similar negative consequences in surrounding countries such as the Netherlands5) and the United Kingdom8), but there the number of women who are happy with the unplanned pregnancy appears to be higher: 43 and 45 percent respectively. Of the women surveyed who experienced an unplanned pregnancy, a quarter opt for an abortion, according to the survey.

In Belgium3) and the Netherlands6), about 1 in 3 women surveyed appears to be satisfied with the current form of contraception, while in the United Kingdom this is slightly higher at 45 percent9). In general, the women surveyed are open to another form of contraception. More information about contraception (methods) in general and help with making a choice can be found on the website of the Flemish expertise centre for sexual health Sensoa (sensoa.be).

Video 

Building on its vision to create a better and healthier every day for every woman, Organon launches survey results but also a video to challenge and help reduce stigma of global public health issue. “There is still so much we can do across our global and local communities to help raise awareness about unplanned pregnancy and work collectively towards lowering the rates,” says Petra Willems. “Today marks the beginning of a new conversation, one that is geared towards reducing the stigma of unplanned pregnancy and giving women the information that they need to make informed decisions.”

The video will be distributed on social media through Organon Benelux Vimeo, LinkedIn and Twitter channels and is available on HereforHerHealth.com where people are encouraged to share their perspective on how to help reduce unplanned pregnancy. Organon also invites women, their families, healthcare professionals and policy makers to visit https://hereforherhealth.com/unplanned/ to share their perspectives on how to help reduce the rates of unplanned pregnancy and join us on a collective mission of having the conversation.

Sources:

1)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day Belgium research top-line chart,
Q2-Have you ever had an unplanned pregnancy whilst taking contraceptives?
2)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day Belgium research top-line chart,
Q3-How did the unplanned pregnancy affect your life?
3)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day Belgium research top-line chart,
Q5-Would you consider using a different form of contraception?

4)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day Netherlands research top-line chart; Q2-Have you ever had an unplanned pregnancy whilst taking contraceptives?
5)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day Netherlands research top-line chart; Q3-How did the unplanned pregnancy affect your life?
6)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day Netherlands research top-line chart; Q5-Would you consider using a different form of contraception?

7)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day UK research top-line chart;
Q2-Have you ever had an unplanned pregnancy whilst taking contraceptives?
8)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day UK research top-line chart;
Q3-How did the unplanned pregnancy affect your life?
9)         RWB1443 Broadcast Revolution World Contraceptive Day UK research top-line chart:
Q5-Would you consider using a different form of contraception?

10)       Bearak J, Painchalk A, Ganatra B, et al. Unintended pregnancy and abortion by income, region, and the legal status of abortion: estimates from a comprehensive model for 1990–2019. Lancet Glob Health. 2020;8(9):e1152-e1161. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30315-6

11)       Kantorová V, Wheldon MC, Ueffing P, Dasgupta ANZ (2020) Estimating progress towards meeting women’s contraceptive needs in 185 countries: A Bayesian hierarchical modelling study. PLoS Med 17(2): e1003026. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003026 **According to Kantorová et. al, modern methods of contraception include female and male sterilization, the intrauterine device (IUD), the implant, injectables, oral contraceptive pills, male and female condoms, vaginal barrier methods, the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM), emergency contraception and other modern methods such as the contraceptive patch or vaginal ring.

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