Unwanted Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, Side Effects, Risks

Unwanted Pregnancy

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Unwanted Pregnancy

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Unwanted pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs when no more children or no children are desired. Unwanted pregnancy also includes the pregnancy earlier than desired (mistimed pregnancy). 

Unwanted pregnancy is a common problem that has spread worldwide. It affects women and their families. Unwanted pregnancy can be caused due to failure of contraceptive aids, irregular use of pills, not using contraceptive methods during sexual intercourse or rapes.

 

Unwanted Pregnancy

Unwanted pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs when no more children or no children are desired. Unwanted pregnancy also includes the pregnancy earlier than desired (mistimed pregnancy). 

Unwanted pregnancy is a common problem that has spread worldwide. It affects women and their families. Unwanted pregnancy can be caused due to failure of contraceptive aids, irregular use of pills, not using contraceptive methods during sexual intercourse or rapes.

 

Causes of unwanted pregnancy?

Some of the reasons for unwanted pregnancy are

  1. Not using the contraceptives properly
  2. Failure of contraceptives like breaking a condom. In this case, the woman may take the contraceptive pill on next morning to reduce the risk of unwanted pre.gnancy
  3. Missed taking the contraceptive pill
  4. Rapes and marital rapes
  5. Low education level, low awareness and not adequate access to contraceptives in people with low socioeconomic status

Signa and symptoms of pregnancy

Signs and symptoms of pregnancy

Some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy are:-

  1. Spotting and cramping
  2. Morning sickness
  3. Missing periods
  4. Nausea and vomiting
  5. Fatigue 
  6. Changes in the size of the breast
  7. Food cravings
  8. The following symptoms are experienced before the pregnancy is confirmed:
  9. Missed periods
  10. Frequent urination
  11. Constipation
  12. Mood swings
  13. Back pain and headache
  14. Fatigue
  15. Cervical mucus
  16. Implantation bleeding
  17. Darkening areolas
  18. Rise in basal body temperature

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Who is more prone to unwanted pregnancy?

People of the following categories are more prone to unplanned pregnancies::-

  1. Low socioeconomic status: People with lower socioeconomic status are at increased risk of unwanted pregnancy. This section of the sociehas lower access to contraceptive methods andith low awareness.
  2. Lower education level: People with no or low education also have increased incidecne of unwanted pregnancy. It has been found that women with higher education have 73% less risk of unwanted pregnancy and 36% less risk of mistimed pregnancy. 
  3. Unawareness: Awareness about various contraceptive methods and their efficacy palys an important role in reducing the unwanted pregnancy. Couples without knownledge of contraceptive methods have increase incidence of unwanted pregnancy.

How can we prevent unwanted pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be prevented through the following methods:

  1. Barrier methods: These method prevents the fertilization of sperm and eggs. The methods include male and female condom, diaphragm and cervical cap, and sponge with spermicide. The diaphragm blocks the path of sperm and prevents its passage through the cervix. Cervical cap prevents the sperm from reaching the uterus and prevents fertilization. The sponge is inserted in the vagina before sexual intercourse and contains spermicidal substances to kill sperms. If perfectly used, the male condoms are 98% effective while female condoms are 95% effective. Diaphragms and caps are 92 to 96% effective.
  2. Sterilization: Female sterilization (tubal ligation) and male sterilization (vasectomy) are permanent methods for preventing pregnancy. It is about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  3. Contraceptives: It includes birth control pills, injections, vaginal rings and birth control patches. Birth control pills are combined pills containing progestin and estrogen or single pills containing only progestin. The vaginal ring, which is a plastic ring that is worn inside the vagina, contains hormones that are released in the blood to avoid pregnancy. Contraceptive pills, patches and rings are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when used perfectly as prescribed. 
  4. Implants: Implants are also used to prevent pregnancy. some of the implants include Copper Intrauterine devices and hormonal IUDs. The implants have 99% efficacy in preventing pregnancy.
  5. There are certain food items that reduce the chances of pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. These include papaya, apricot, ginger, pineapple, asafoetida, cinnamon, and dried figs. 

 

 

When to consult a doctor for an unplanned pregnancy?

You should immediately contact a doctor if you experience any of the following signs.

  1. Heavy bleeding accompanied by cramps and pain in the lower abdomen
  2. Severe pain either on the one side or on both sides of the abdomen
  3. A sudden increase in thirst and decreased urination
  4. Bloody diarrhoea
  5. Having persistence fever over 1010F with or without painful urination
  6. Disturbance in vision like blurring and double vision
  7. A headache that lasts more than 2 to 3 hours

What are the complications of unwanted pregnancy?

Access to safe and reliable methods for the termination of pregnancy is the most important for controlling the rate of maternal mortality. Most complications of pregnancy are similar to wishful pregnancy. 

  1. Breech position: In this condition, the head of the baby is in the wrong direction.
  2. Chemical pregnancy: In this condition, the pregnancy is lost in its early stage. The period is not absent after attaining pregnancy.
  3. Eclampsia: Occurance of seizures after shortly after conceiving.
  4. Postpartum haemorrhage: Women may have excessive bleeding after giving birth to the child.
  5. Mental health: Couples with unwanted conception may develop a feeling of guilt, stress, anxiety, and depression.
     

How can unwanted pregnancy be diagnosed?

The diagnosis of unwanted pregnancy is similar to the diagnosis of wishful pregnancy.

  1. Clinical signs of pregnancy are fetal heartbeat, maternal perception of fetal movement, and ultrasonography. 
  2. Ultrasonography is an imaging technology that uses high-frequency sound waves. It produces an image of the baby based on this.
  3. A positive pregnancy test on the pregnancy kit also indicates the successful implantation of the foetus. 
  4. Absence of menstrual cycle.
  5. Assay of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone
  6. Blood test: blood test is done to check the level of early pregnancy factor (EPF). It is the first protein that forms after fertilization.
     
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.

Reviewer

Dr. Arti Sharma

Dr. Arti Sharma

MBBS, DNB Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Diploma In Cosmetic Gynaecology

8 Years Experience

Dr Arti Sharma is a well-known Obstetrician and Cosmetic Gynaecologist currently associated with Aesthetica Veda in Bengaluru. She has 8 years of experience in Obstetrics and Cosmetic Gynaecology and worked as an expert Obstetrician...View More

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Charu Shrivastava

Charu Shrivastava

BSc. Biotechnology I MDU and MSc in Medical Biochemistry (HIMSR, Jamia Hamdard)

2 Years Experience

Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical content. Her proofreading and content writing for medical websites is impressive. She creates informative and engaging content that educ...View More

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