NC Department of Health and Human Services
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Important Facts for Unintended Pregnancy

Definition

Unintended pregnancy percentages are based on mother's self-reported responses to the question: "Thinking back to just before you got pregnant with your new baby, how did you feel about becoming pregnant?" Mothers who reported that they "wanted to be pregnant later" or that they "didn't want to be pregnant then or at any time in the future" were considered to have had unintended pregnancies.

Numerator

Number of new mothers who had unintended pregnancies

Denominator

Number of new mothers surveyed

Data Interpretation Issues

Since the estimates are based on a sample and not the entire population, the percentage of new mothers in the survey who had an unintended pregnancy may differ from the "true" prevalence of that characteristic in the North Carolina population simply by chance. We report confidence intervals which take this error into account and present a range in which the "true value" is likely to fall.

More information on how to interpret confidence intervals.

Why Is This Important?

"The term unintended pregnancy refers to a pregnancy that was mistimed or unwanted at the time of conception. Nearly half of all pregnancies in North Carolina are unintended, which is associated with delayed entry into prenatal care as well as low-birth-weight babies and poor maternal nutrition." - North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Healthy North Carolina 2020: A Better State of Health.

Other Objectives

Healthy North Carolina 2020

State Center for Health Statistics, N.C. Division of Public Health, Telephone: 919-733-4728, Fax: 919-733-8485
North Carolina - A better place to be.
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Content updated: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 10:58:05 EDT