Conclusion: Single unmarried women are usually associated with poor background history, poor antenatal check up, abandonment of babies, substance abuse, and other social ills. This study has managed to identify certain possible background factors of these women that may be addressed in order to improve the antenatal and postnatal care of the mother and babies in the future, as well as the social ills in general. This is important in this era of moral decadence
Pregnancy among unmarried women in a tertiary centre in Pahang, Malaysia
- sociodemographic background -
Kamarul Bahyah Mustafa1, Noraziana Abd Wahab1, Ayu Aszliana Sidek1, Mokhtar Awang1, Suhaiza Abdullah1, and Norliza Ibrahim2
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, International Islamic University Malaysia, Pahang, Malaysia. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital tengku Ampuan Afzan, Kuantan, Pahang
During the study period, out of 9994 women who came for deliveries, 121 unmarried agreed to participate in this study.
The youngest maternal age at delivery was 13, and the oldest was 36 with a mean age of 21.6 years. 31.4% were teenagers.
Only 16% of patients have the benefit of higher education beyond their primary and secondary school, and 2.5% has never had any formal education.
Twenty eight percent of patients have both or either parents already passed away.
This study demonstrated that single unmarried women are associated with poor background history, poor antenatal check up, and other social ills.
This study also showed a low level of contraceptive use among these unmarried women despite the awareness about sexually transmitted infection. Further follow-up, support and care should be given to these mothers considering the social problems and their lasting impact on the family and society as a whole.
Keywords:unmarried pregnant mothers, unwanted pregnancies
Single unmarried women are considered to be a high risk group in the Malaysian community.
The study was aimed at obtaining sociodemographic data of unmarried women who delivered in the centre. The information includes age, education level, parental status, substance abuse and previous sexual abuse.
Thirty one percent of the women were smokers or ex smokers, 7.5% have ever consumed alcohol, and none admitted to ever use any recreational drugs.
Ninety percent of the women became pregnant after sexual debut with either their boyfriend or their own fiancee, and the other 9.1 % either had the sexual encounter with someone other than the two mentioned, or did not know personally their sexual partner. 8.3% has prior history of being sexually assaulted.
Ninety two patients (76%) never used any contraceptive method despite majority of them (85.1%) were aware of the danger of sexually transmitted disease.
Seventy five percent of them were either unbooked or late booker.
Of all the patients, 54 patients (45.8%) were not aware of availability of support groups
This one year prospective study was conducted from 1st August 2010 until 31st July 2011 in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.
The women were identified upon admission to this centre for delivery. They were interviewed using a standard questionnaire and conducted by a dedicated co-researcher.
All unmarried pregnant women who came for delivery in this centre were included unless they refused to be recruited.