Determinants of unintended pregnancy: a comparative study of Central and Coast regions of Kenya
This study sought to establish the demographic, socioeconomic and cultural determinants of unintended pregnancy among women aged 15-24 in Central and Coast regions of Kenya and to examine the unmet need for family planning on unintended pregnancy among the study population in the two regions. The study used the 2008/9 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey dataset. Both study regions had 315 surveyed women aged 15-24 who’s most recent pregnancy ended up in a live birth. Bivariate analysis was used to establish the association between the independent variables and the dependent variable while the multivariate analyses were used to establish the predictors of unintended pregnancies in the two regions. Results showed that current marital status and number of living children were predictors of unintended pregnancy in Central region while current marital status and unmet need for family planning were predictors of unintended pregnancy in Coast region. The findings showed that unmet need for family planning was the main factor responsible for the high level of unintended pregnancy in both regions. The findings recommend increase in access to FP, thereby reducing unmet need for contraception as well as necessitate the need for urgent sexual and health education programs that will ensure more females stay in school longer, gain insightful reproductive health knowledge and consequently minimize unintended pregnancy. These programs and policies will help in spacing of children among the study population who are still exposed to longer reproductive risks and for the few who want to limit children. The family planning and sexual and health education programs should mostly target young women, unmarried ones and those with two or more living children in both regions. Further research is needed to explore the connection between unintended pregnancy and unmet need for family planning therefore shedding more light on the relationship between unmet need and unintended pregnancy.