Clinical Edge

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Low Social Support & Undesired Pregnancy

Contraception; ePub 2018 Jul 2; Moseson, et al

Low social support—defined as the feeling of not having anyone to turn to—may be a risk factor for persistently high levels of undesired pregnancy among young women in the US, a recent study found. Using 6 months of data from a prospective cohort study of 970 women aged 18-22 years in the US, researchers described contraceptive use and estimated adjusted odds and absolute risk of undesired pregnancy among women reporting low social support vs higher social support. They found:

  • 65 pregnancies were reported in the 6-month study period, of which nearly half were classified as undesired prior to conception.
  • Of young women who reported low social support, 8% reported an undesired pregnancy during the study period compared to 3% who reported higher levels of social support.
  • Among non-black women, those who reported low social support had nearly 7 times the odds of an undesired pregnancy vs women who reported higher social support (adjusted odds ratio: 6.8).
  • There was no association between social support and undesired pregnancy among young black women.


Moseson H, Dehlendorf C, Gerdts C, Vittinghoff E, Hiatt RA, Barber J. No one to turn to: low social support and the incidence to undesired pregnancy in the United States. [Published online ahead of print July 2, 2018]. Contraception. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2018.06.009.