Unintended or unplanned pregnancies are pregnancies that are reported to have been either unwanted pregnancies (i.e. the woman has no desire to have a child) or mistimed pregnancies (i.e. they occurred earlier than desired – perhaps the couple wished to have a family after they had completed their formal education or maybe they already had a child but wanted more time before having another baby). Pregnancies ending in induced abortion are generally assumed to have been unintended. Both married and unmarried adolescents experience unwanted pregnancies and births.
Who do you think is more likely to use antenatal care: adolescents with wanted or unwanted pregnancy?
Women with unwanted pregnancies are less likely than those with intended pregnancies to seek antenatal care during the first trimester (i.e. the first three months of the pregnancy).
Why do you think these young women do not seek antenatal care?
It might be that they do not realise they are pregnant because they have had irregular or scant menses (monthly bleeding/menstrual period). Or it might be that they are in denial – trying to ignore the signs and hoping they will have a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion).
What are the disadvantages of not seeking antenatal care?
Adolescents who have not obtained antenatal care from healthcare professionals may not have the opportunity to get sufficient information regarding the risk of terminating a pregnancy under unsafe circumstances. Hence they are less likely to get safe abortion care even when they are eligible to get the service.