LINCOLN, Neb., May 8 (UPI) — About 23 percent of U.S. women in their childbearing years are ambivalent about having children, challenging conventional wisdom, researchers said.
“This finding dramatically challenges the idea that women are always trying, one way or another, to either get pregnant or not get pregnant,” lead author Julia McQuillan, professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said in a statement.
“It also shows that women who are OK either way should be assessed separately from women who are intentional about pregnancy.”
The study of nearly 4,000 sexually active women ages 25-45 indicated about 71 percent said they were not trying to get pregnant, 6 percent said they were trying to get pregnant, and 23 percent said they are “OK either way” — they were neither trying to get pregnant nor trying to prevent pregnancy.
Sixty percent of the women, who had no children, said they were trying to prevent getting pregnant, 14 percent were trying to get pregnant and 26 percent responded that they were “OK either way.”
McQuillan said the findings suggest doctors should bear in mind that there is a group of women less intentional about pregnancy and they should be treated as if they are likely to conceive.
This group of women should hear recommendations that can protect a child such as ensuring adequate folic acid intake and limiting alcohol intake, McQuillan said.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.