Measuring the effects of unintended pregnancy on women's quality of life

Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, Rachel Smith, Jody Steinauer, Matthew F. Reeves, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: This study was conducted to assess the potential impact of an unintended pregnancy on women's quality of life. Study Design: We asked 192 nonpregnant women to report how they would feel if they learned that they were pregnant using a visual analog scale (VAS), a time trade-off (TTO) metric, a standard gamble (SG) metric and a willingness-to-pay (WTP) metric. Results: Women's anticipated responses to an unintended pregnancy varied widely. Using a VAS, 8% reported pregnancy would make them feel like they were dying. To avoid pregnancy, 28% of women were willing to trade time from the end of their life (TTO), 16% of women were willing to accept an immediate risk of death (SG) and 60% of women were willing to pay some amount of money (WTP). On average, women, using the VAS, TTO and SG metrics, reported that an unintended pregnancy would create a health utility state (where 0 represents death and 1 represents perfect health) of 0.487, 0.992 and 0.997, respectively. Conclusion: The anticipated effects of pregnancy on women's quality of life should be integrated into cost-effectiveness analyses of family planning services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Decision analysis
  • QALY (Quality-adjusted life years)
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Utility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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