To assess factors associated with pregnancy fatalism among U.S. adult women.
I used data from the Change and Consistency in Contraceptive Use study, which collected information from a national sample of 4634 U.S. women aged 18–39 at baseline (59% response rate). I assessed pregnancy fatalism based on agreement with the statement: “It doesn't matter whether I use birth control, when it is my time to get pregnant, it will happen.” I compare fatalism among all respondents to fatalism among respondents who were trying to get pregnant and those who did not want to get pregnant but were not using contraception. I used logistic regression to assess associations between nonuse of contraception and pregnancy fatalism at baseline and whether respondents were trying to get pregnant six months later.
Overall, 36% of the sample expressed some degree of pregnancy fatalism, and proportions were higher for respondents trying to get pregnant (55%) and those not using contraception (57%). The association between pregnancy fatalism and trying to get pregnant was maintained after controlling for other characteristics (OR 1.4, p=.01), as was the association for nonuse of contraception (OR 2.08, p<.001). Contraceptive nonusers at baseline were more likely than users to be trying to get pregnant six months later, especially if they expressed a fatalistic outlook at baseline.
Pregnancy fatalism may be a common outlook among women who are trying to get pregnant. Associations between fatalism and nonuse of contraception may be more complex than previously recognized.
Gaining a better understanding of the dynamics of pregnancy planning might inform our understanding of why some women do not use contraception.
- United States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming