Background: In Ethiopia, little is known about pregnancy among rural women. Proper maternal health care depends on clear understanding of the reproductive health situation. The objective of this study was to identify predictors of unintended pregnancy in rural eastern Ethiopia.
Methodology: This study was part of pregnancy surveillance at Kersa Demographic Surveillance and Health Research Center, East Ethiopia. Pregnant women were assessed whether their current pregnancy was intended or not. Data were collected by lay interviewers using uniform questionnaire. Odds Ratio, with 95% confidence interval using multiple and multinomial logistic regression were calculated to detect level of significance.
Results: Unintended pregnancy was reported by 27.9% (578/2072) of the study subjects. Out of which, 440 were mistimed and 138 were not wanted. Unintended pregnancy was associated with family wealth status (OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.14, 1.90), high parity (7 +) (OR 5.18; 95% CI 3.31, 8.12), and a longer estimated time to walk to the nearest health care facility (OR 2.24; 95% CI: 1.49, 3.39).In the multinomial regression, women from poor family reported that their pregnancy was mistimed (OR 1.69; 95% CI 1.27, 2.25). The longer estimated time (80 + minutes) to walk to the nearest health care facility influenced the occurrence of mistimed pregnancy (OR 2.58; 95% CI: 1.65, 4.02). High parity (7+) showed a strong association to mistimed and unwanted pregnancies (OR 3.11; 95% CI 1.87, 5.12) and (OR 14.34; 95% CI 5.72, 35.98), respectively.
Conclusions: The economy of the family, parity, and walking distance to the nearest health care institution are strong predictors of unintended pregnancy. In order to reduce the high rate of unintended pregnancy Efforts to reach rural women with family planning services should be strengthened.