This paper assesses the relationship between unintended pregnancy — both unwanted and mistimed — and several dimensions of use of prenatal care among women in Ecuador, where the level of unintended pregnancy has risen considerably in recent years. Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of 3988 women interviewed in the 1994 Demographic and Maternal–Child Health Survey. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess jointly the effect of pregnancy intention status (unwanted, mistimed, planned) on three aspects of prenatal care use while controlling for potential confounders. Women with unwanted pregnancies were 32% less likely than women with planned pregnancies to seek out prenatal care. Women with unwanted pregnancies were also 25% less likely to initiate care in the first trimester and 29% less likely to receive at least an adequate number of visits. Mistimed pregnancy was not associated with receiving care, timely initiation of care or receiving an adequate number of visits.
Unintended pregnancy and women’s use of prenatal care in Ecuador