Exploring the Risks of Repeated Pregnancy Among Adolescents and Young Women in the Philippines

  • Joemer C. MaravillaEmail author
  • Kim S. Betts
  • Rosa Alati


Objective Knowledge of the factors which influence repeat pregnancy can inform much needed evidence-based prevention programs. This study aims to identify correlates of repeat pregnancy in the Philippines. Methods We used data from five Philippine Demographic and Health Surveys (1993–2013). A total of 4757 women 15–24 years old who had experienced ≥ 1 pregnancy were included. Individual and partner-related factors were fitted into a series of logistic regression stepwise models with deformalized survey weights. Stratified analyses using two age groups (15–19, 20–24) were also conducted. Interaction terms were included to test for statistical differences between the groups. Results Lower wealth quintiles [odds ratio (OR) 1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–2.49] and partner characteristics such as age of ≥ 30 years (OR = 1.99, CI = 1.41–2.82), multiple partners (OR = 4.19, CI = 1.57–11.19) and live-in status (OR = 1.38, CI = 1.02–1.87) were found to be highly correlated with repeat pregnancy in fully adjusted analysis. Receiving prenatal care from traditional healers (OR = 1.93, CI = 1.02–3.63) during the first pregnancy and giving birth for the first time before 18 years of age (OR = 1.12, CI = 1.04–1.20) showed increased risks among 15–19 years old compared to 20–24 years old in stratified analysis. Conclusions for practice In general, partner characteristics were associated with repeat pregnancy among young women suggesting male involvement, especially older partners, in family planning. High risks for repeat pregnancy were observed among adolescent women who reported younger age at first birth and received prenatal care from a traditional healer which entail promotion of trained prenatal care. Further analysis is needed to validate these findings in other developing countries.


Risks Teenage pregnancy Repeated pregnancy Adolescents Correlates Philippines 



We also acknowledge the Demographic and Health Surveys Program for allowing us to access the all Philippine DHS datasets. This study was accepted for presentation at the 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health, India on 27–29 October 2017.


This study work was supported by the University of Queensland International Scholarship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical Approval

This study underwent an expedited review and was approved by the University of Queensland—School of Public Health Ethics Committee last 11 April 2016.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social Science ResearchThe University of QueenslandIndooroopillyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Public HealthThe University of QueenslandHerstonAustralia

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