Contraception use and unplanned pregnancies in a peri-urban area of eSwatini (Swaziland).


Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Despite reported high levels of contraception use in eSwatini, unplanned pregnancies are common. The aims of this study were to investigate prevalence and determinants of contraception use and unplanned pregnancies in a disadvantaged area in the Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland), and to investigate the association between unplanned pregnancies and antenatal care attendance.
METHODS : This cross-sectional study was conducted at the non-governmental organization Siphilile Maternal and Child Health in Matsapha, a peri-urban industrial area, using data from pre-existing client records. The sample included clients (n = 1436) registered during pregnancy or up to three months postpartum between August 2014 and April 2016. Contraception use before conception and unplanned pregnancies were analysed with logistic regression to find associations with socio-demographic factors and health care utilization.
RESULTS : In this population, 59% (n = 737) stated to have used contraception before becoming pregnant. Teenagers and first-time mothers were less likely to have used contraception. Seventy percent (789/1124) of the pregnancies were unplanned. Older women (≥35 years) were less likely while teenagers and multiparas (≥3 children) were more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy. Women with unplanned pregnancies were less likely to attend the recommended number of antenatal care visits compared to women with planned pregnancies.
CONCLUSIONS : The rate of unplanned pregnancies is high in this population, especially among teenagers. Family planning interventions need to focus on preconception care for teenagers to enable pregnancy planning including improved antenatal care attendance.