Yes, no, maybe


Women's health practitioners have created protocols for two groups: women trying to get pregnant and women not trying to get pregnant. As usual, women are a little more complicated than that.

Research shows there is clearly a third group: the ambivalent toward pregnancy. And the group is significant. 23% of all women surveyed. The number increases when addressing women with no children to 26%. The findings surprised researchers and may influence a new set of protocols for this unrecognized group.

The study interviewed 4000 sexually active women ages 25 to 45.

“If health-care providers only ask women if they are currently trying to get pregnant and women say no, then the assumption is that they are trying not to get pregnant,” said Julia McQuillan, professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the study’s lead author. “Clearly, many women are less intentional about pregnancy. Yet this group should be treated as if they will likely conceive and should therefore get recommendations such as ensuring adequate folic acid intake and limiting alcohol intake.”

The research results will also help doctors and pharmaceutical companies to better anticipate birth control needs, help create more effective family planning programs and address maternal health and well being.

“This finding dramatically challenges the idea that women are always trying, one way or another, to either get pregnant or not get pregnant,: Said McQuillan. “It also suggests that women who are OK either way should be assessed separately from women who are intentional about pregnancy.”

Other interesting data from the material:
- Women who said they were ambivalent reported the ideal number of children would be 3.17 on average.
- They also tended to be slightly more religious.
- 73% of the women who didn’t care said they wanted a baby.
- Half of all women in the survey said their career was very important to them, while 45 percent said the same about leisure time. All three groups had similar statistics.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Science Daily


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