The cost of unintended pregnancy in the United States

Contraception. 2007 Mar;75(3):168-70. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2006.11.009. Epub 2007 Jan 18.


Introduction: Despite the many contraceptive options available in the United States, nearly half (49%) of the 6.4 million pregnancies each year are unintended; these represent a significant cost to the health care system.

Methods: The total number of unintended pregnancies and their outcomes were obtained from the literature. Direct medical costs were estimated for each unintended pregnancy outcome.

Results: The direct medical costs of unintended pregnancies were US$5 billion in 2002. Direct medical cost savings due to contraceptive use were US$19 billion.

Discussion: Unintended pregnancies are a costly problem in the United States. Contraceptive use can reduce direct and indirect costs; hence, payers may realize cost savings by providing coverage of contraceptive products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / economics
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned*
  • United States