Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

Font Size: 
Determinants of undesired births among women in urban slums of Chandigarh, India
Dinesh Kumar, Naveen K Goel, Neeraj Agarwal Agarwal, Munesh K Sharma

Last modified: 2018-07-23



Population explosions neutralize all the gains and developments achieved in developing countries. The couple protection rate (CPR) continues to be inadequate in India, resulting in undesired births resulting in  improvident maternity. Present study aims at estimating prevalence of undesired last pregnancy among women and to investigate its correlates.

Materials and methods

Cross-sectional survey was conducted among 667 women in reproductive age along with their spouses selected by two-stage systematic random sampling design. Study variables included socio-cultural and demographic characteristics, fertility behavior in terms of past/future fertility desires/preferences, contraceptive choices, gender preference, interpersonal communications.


Last pregnancy was undesired by 40% couples and prevalence of improvident maternity rate was 43.6%. Acceptance of unplanned births among couples was 64.8%. Unmet need of contraception was found among 40.0%. Overall contraceptive prevalence rate was found to be 57.1% only in spite of high contraceptive awareness level of 81.7%. Undesired pregnancy was influenced by educational status, employment of women, type of family, contraceptive awareness and son preference.


High percentages of undesired births and improvident maternity indicate poor fertility decisions of women and their spouses.  There is an urgent need of developing strategies for reducing undesired births by improving fertility related spousal communications for better reproductive health outcomes .


Authors acknowledge the grant received from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the study.

Key words

Couple Protection Rate (CPR), Improvident Maternity, Inter-Personal Communications, Undesired Pregnancy