Adolescents' Responses to an Unintended Pregnancy in Ghana: A Qualitative Study

Lydia Aziato, Michelle J. Hindin, Ernest Tei Maya, Abubakar Manu, Susan Ama Amuasi, Rachel Mahoe Lawerh, Augustine Ankomah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Study Objective To investigate the experiences and perceptions of adolescents who have experienced a recent pregnancy and undergone a termination of pregnancy. Design A vignette-based focus group approach was used to have adolescents reflect on scenarios that happen to others during an unwanted pregnancy. Setting The study was conducted in public health facilities in the 3 major urban areas of Ghana—Accra, Kumasi, and Tamale. Participants, Interventions, and Main Outcome Measures Adolescents, aged 10-19 years, who had a recent termination of pregnancy were recruited from public health facilities in the 3 sites. Fifteen focus groups were conducted and digitally recorded in English, Twi, Ga, and Dagbani. Transcripts were transcribed and translated, and thematic analysis was used for the analysis. Results Adolescents reported that the characters in the vignettes would feel sadness, depression, and regret from an unintended pregnancy and some male partners would “deny” the pregnancy or suggest an abortion. They suggested some parents would “be angry” and “sack” their children for becoming pregnant while others would “support” them. Parents might send the pregnant girl to a distant friend or grandparents until she delivers to avoid shame and gossip. Health professionals might encourage the pregnant girl or insult/gossip about the girl. Conclusion Adolescent unintended pregnancies in Ghana are met with a range of reactions and these reactions influence the pregnancy choices young women make for continuation or termination of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-658
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Adolescent partner reaction
  • Emotional reaction
  • Focus group discussion
  • Ghana
  • Parent reaction
  • Partner reaction
  • Unintended pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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