HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 8 no. 2 (2008)

Determinants of Unintended Pregnancy: Results from a Re-Analysis of the Philippines’ 2003 NDHS

Lourdes Palomo-nacionales

Discipline: Social Science, Health



Filipino women still bear children more than they desire. The gap between wanted and actual fertility rates has remained stable (one birth) which is considered excess fertility and commonly classified as unintended pregnancy. While studies have already investigated unintended pregnancy among Filipino women, their focus has been to describe the phenomenon's prevalence, level, and consequences. No effort has been given to identifying and discussing the factors that could shed light on women's classification of such a pregnancy as unintended. Using data from the Philippines' 2003 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), the re-analysis examined a number of socio-demographic and proximal factors influencing Filipino women's classification. Results showed that the interplay of different factors has great influence to women's pregnancy intentions. It seemed that unintended pregnancy/childbearing occurs among all populations of women, but the experience is relatively more common in several specific groups: women who are unmarried, women of either end of reproductive span, women with too many children, women who already achieved the son-daughter balance among their living children, and women with pregnancies that come too soon after the previous birth. It can also be considered a failure of a considerable number of these women in planning their pregnancy and therefore the excess fertility occurs as revealed by the data.