Prevent Unintended Pregnancy

The Issue

Approximately 50 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, with a higher proportion occurring among adolescents and young women, women in racial or ethnic minority groups, and those with lower levels of education and income.

Unintended pregnancies increase the risk for poor maternal and infant outcomes — resulting in $21 billion in direct medical costs in 2010.


Plan an Evidence-Based Intervention

Following are unintended pregnancy prevention interventions identified by the CDC as having a proven evidence base for improving health outcomes and controlling health care costs:

  • Reimburse providers for the full range of contraceptive services (e.g., screening for pregnancy intention; counseling; insertion, removal, replacement, or reinsertion of long-acting reversible contraceptives, and follow-up) for women of childbearing age.
  • Reimburse providers for the actual cost of FDA-approved contraceptive methods.
  • Unbundle payment for long-acting reversible contraceptives from other postpartum services.
  • Remove administrative barriers to receipt of contraceptive services (e.g., pre-approval step therapy restriction, barriers to high acquisition and stocking costs).

Evidence Summary: Prevent Unintended Pregnancy

Download the CDC’s evidence summary that outlines key cost and health care information for payers and providers, as well as demonstrated outcomes for each of the above interventions.

Explore Implementation Resources

The following resources can help payers, state officials, and providers to implement high-opportunity unintended pregnancy prevention interventions. Does your state/program have resources to share? Send an email to

See also CDC’s unintended pregnancy program web page.

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6|18 State Spotlight | June 2018
Reducing the state’s unintended pregnancy rate by increasing access to and utilization of highly effective contraceptive methods.
Website/Resource Center
Provides access to more than 200 tools and resources from states, national organizations, and federal agencies to drive the work of payers toward achieving increased access to a full range of contraception, with a focus on the most effective methods.

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