• unwanted pregnancy; unplanned pregnancy; Iran; meta-analysis; systematic review



Different studies show that a considerable number of pregnancies are unwanted and can have side effects on mothers'‚ children's and finally society's health. Accordingly, this meta-analysis study has been carried out to estimate a relatively accurate level of unwanted pregnancies in Iran.


Present studies and published documents were retrieved from Persian and English electronic databases. To increase sensitivity and to select more studies, the reference list of the published studies was checked. After studying the titles and texts of documents, repeated and irrelevant ones were excluded. Data was analyzed using STATA V.11.


Forty-nine qualified papers were selected with a 43 061 sample size. The meta-analysis of unwanted pregnancy prevalence in Iran equals 30.6% (CI = 28.1–33.1). Also‚ according to the present meta-analysis‚ the most common contraceptive methods used by couples prior to unwanted pregnancies are as follows: pills 27.1%‚ withdrawal 38.6%‚ IUD 11.4%‚ injection contraceptives 2.8%‚ vasectomy 0.28% and no method 24.5%.

Discussion and conclusion

The results of meta-analysis showed that about one-third of pregnancies in Iran are unwanted and a high percent of them are among women who had used contraceptives. Therefore‚ it is necessary to adopt more appropriate policies on the following: education, proper pregnancy age, using contraceptive methods, men's role in family planning programs and quality promotion in family planning services. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.