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Volume 25, Issue 1

Causas Determinantes de Embarazos No Planeados en el Ecuador


Although bivariate survey data have demonstrated that the proportion of unintended pregnancies is increasing in Ecuador, the determinants of unwanted and mistimed pregnancy have yet to be identified.


A multinomial logistic regression analysis of the predictors of unintended pregnancy (unwanted and mistimed) was conducted using a subsample of women who were interviewed for the 1994 Demographic and Maternal-Child Health Survey for Ecuador. The study sample consisted of 4,534 women whose most recent pregnancy occurred between January 1992 and August 1994.


The multivariate analysis indicated that several explanatory variables significantly influenced the likelihood that a woman would classify her most recent pregnancy as unwanted or mistimed. Among variables that independently raised the likelihood of unintended pregnancy were residence in the Sierra (or highlands) region, residence in a major metropolitan area, the number of previous births and use of a contraceptive method before the most recent pregnancy. In contrast, variables that significantly lowered that probability included residence in rural areas, living in a high-income household and giving birth at a relatively older age (i.e., 30-49 years).


Services should focus on helping those groups of women who were identified in the analysis as being at increased risk of unintended pregnancy—high-parity women, women in the Sierra region and those in the metropolitan areas of Quito and Guayaquil.

International Family Planning Perspectives, 1999, 25(1):27-33


Elizabeth Eggleston is senior research associate with Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA. At the time this article was written, she was a doctoral student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA. The author thanks Amy Ong Tsui, Milton Kotelchuck, Sandra Martin, Trude Bennett and Judith Fortney for their comments on an earlier version of this article. She also acknowledges the generous assistance of the Center for Population Studies and Responsible Parenthood (Centro de Estudios de Población y Paternidad Responsible, or CEPAR) and the Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for making data available for analysis.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Guttmacher Institute.

International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health