Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology
Online ISSN : 1882-868X
Print ISSN : 0368-9395
ISSN-L : 0368-9395
Original Articles
Pregnancy intention and contraceptive use among married and unmarried women in Japan
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2016 Volume 82 Issue 3 Pages 110-124


Objectives: To elucidate the patterns of contraceptive use in both married and unmarried women in Japan; and to examine which factors are associated with using no or unreliable contraceptives while adjusting for pregnancy intention.
Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the Biodemography Project conducted in Japan in 2014, we analyzed current contraceptive behavior and pregnancy intention among 1,746 (1,361 married and 385 unmarried; aged 20-44 years old) women with a male partner.
Results: Sixty-four percent of married and 30% of unmarried women did not have current or future pregnancy intention, among whom only 39% and 47% respectively were using reliable contraceptives, i.e. consistent users of either condoms and/or oral contraceptives. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, future pregnancy intention (vs. current pregnancy intention) and university level education (vs. high school or less) were significantly associated with lower odds ratio of using unreliable/no contraception for both married and unmarried women. While having intention not to become pregnant was associated with significantly lower odds ratio of using no or unreliable contraceptives in married women, such association was not found in the unmarried. Among unmarried women older age was significantly associated with unreliable/no contraceptive use.
Conclusions: Unreliable/no contraceptive use is common among both married and unmarried women in Japan even for those with no current pregnancy intention. Further research is needed to determine whether they are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy.

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© 2016 The Japanese Society of Health and Human Ecology
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