Contraception and abortion in a low-fertility setting: The role of seasonal migration

Arusyak Sevoyan, Victor Agadjanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


CONTEXT: Seasonal labor migration is common among men in many former Soviet republics. Little research has examined contraceptive use and induced abortion among women in such low-fertility, high-migration settings, according to husband's migration status. METHODS: Combined data from 2,280 respondents of two surveys of married women aged 18-45 in rural Armenia-one conducted in 2005 and one in 2007-were used. Logistic regression analyses examined whether a husband's migration status was associated with his wife's current use of the pill or the IUD, or with the probability that she had had a pregnancy that ended in induced abortion. Additional analyses were conducted to determine whether relationships were moderated by household wealth. RESULTS: Women with a migrant husband were less likely than those with a nonmigrant husband to be currently using the pill or the IUD (odds ratio, 0.6); with increased household wealth, the likelihood of method use increased among women with a nonmigrant husband, but decreased slightly among women with a migrant husband. Overall, the probability that a pregnancy ended in abortion did not differ by migration status; however, the likelihood of abortion increased with wealth among women married to a nonmigrant, but not among those married to a migrant. CONCLUSIONS: Despite their husband's absence, women married to a migrant may have an unwanted pregnancy rate similar to that of women married to a nonmigrant. Improved access to modern contraceptive methods is likely to be positively associated with contraceptive use among women with a nonmigrant husband, but not among those with a migrant husband.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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