The Effect of Stress and Depression Symptoms on Young Women's Risk of Unintended Pregnancy

Kelli S. Hall, University of Michigan
Heather Gatny, University of Michigan

We prospectively examined the effect of depression and stress on unintended pregnancy risk among 940 young women ages 18-20yrs participating in a longitudinal population-based study. We conducted a baseline interview and assessment of depression (CESD-5) and stress (PSS-4) symptoms. Women then completed weekly survey journals (n=27,572) on relationship, contraceptive, and pregnancy outcomes over one year. We estimated the effect of baseline mental health symptoms on pregnancy risk over time with discrete-time, mixed-effects, proportional hazard models using logistic regression. Rates of pregnancy were higher among women with baseline depression (14% vs. 9%, P=0.04) and stress (15% vs. 9%, P=0.03) compared to women without symptoms. In multivariable models, the risk of pregnancy was 1.6 times higher among women with stress compared to those without stress (RR 1.6, CI 1.1,2.7). Women with comorbid stress and depression symptoms had over twice the risk of pregnancy (RR 2.1, CI 1.1,3.8) compared to those without symptoms.

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Presented in Session 125: Sex, Fertility, and Well-Being