Risk of unwanted pregnancy among Spanish women 40 to 50 years old

Risk of unwanted pregnancy among Spanish women 40 to 50 years old

J.L. Dueñas, C. Coll, J. Martinez-Salmean, I. Lete, R. Bermejo, I.

Serrano, J.L. Doval, J.J. Parrilla

Daphne Group

Introduction: Frequently the risk of unwanted pregnancy is associated

with adolescents and, in Spain, little was known about this risk in the


Aims and Methods: To know the risk of unwanted pregnancies in the

group of 40–59 year-old women. We have used a questionnaire designed to know

the sexual behaviour and the actual use of contraceptive methods, other aspects,

like the real possibility of getting pregnant, were also analysed.

Results: From the 1875 women studied 84% were sexually active and 48%

of them didn’t use any contraceptive method. From those using contraceptive

methods only 33.8% used an effective one (condom, pill, IUD, sterilization –male

or female–). The reason for not using contraceptive methods were: 39% were not

at risk of pregnancy because of previous surgery or sterility and 61% didn’t

have any consistent answer, just ‘thought’ that pregnancy was not possible.

The final results were that 31.8% of women, aged 40 to 49 years old, were in

risk for unwanted pregnancy. Our result were compared with previous existing

data on voluntary abortion where the 35% of pregnant women between the ages of

40 to 44 and 52% of those between the ages of 45 to 49 decided to interrupt


Conclusions: These results confirm that in the pre-menopause effective

contraception has to be continued until menopause occurs since the risk of

unwanted pregnancy is high.

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