Influence of intimate partner violence on unintended pregnancies in India: finding from NFHS-2 Data
Shahina Begum, RD Gardi Medical College
SadaNand Dwivedi, All India Insitute of Medical Sciences
Arvind Pandey, National Institute of Medical Statistics (ICMR), India
Suneeta Mittal, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Violence against women is a serious public health problem that is associated with reproductive, and mental health consequences. One of the adverse outcomes of the violence may be pregnancies that were not wanted at the time of conception.This may be because of lack of control over sexual decision-making and contraceptive use. Many women may be afraid to discuss about contraception because they fear that their partners might respond violently. The negative health outcomes have been associated with unintended pregnancies, including maternal deaths and complications due to unsafe abortions,as well as risks to infant health like lower likelihood of breastfeeding and low birth weight. In a few published studies it was found statistically significant associations between intimate partner violence and unintended pregnancy. However, no such studies was conducted in India to find the association between intimate partner violence unintended pregnancies. Objective: To assess the association between physical violence and unintended pregnancies. Methods: Data were drawn from the second round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2), India conducted in 1998-99. The dependent variable is unintended pregnancy, which is defined as the pregnancies that were not wanted at the time of conception otherwise wanted pregnancy. A set of independent covariates like age, residence, education, working status, religion, standard of living index, type of family, number of surviving daughters, ever use contraceptive methods, pregnancies ever terminated and ever physically mistreated by their husband were considered into the stepwise multiple logistics regression model. Results: After controlling the other variables it was found that women who had physically mistreated by their husband were 51 percent [OR:1.51; 95% CI:(1.29,1.76)] more likely to experience unintended pregnancies than women who had never physically mistreated by their husband. Conclusion: The finding demonstrates the need for reproductive health program to remove the physical violence in a way to reduce unintended pregnancies.